An international cybersecurity company will release a report on Monday that reveals a ring of hackers have managed to infiltrate banks to steal about $1 billion. The banking breach would be the biggest one yet in the world, and involves approximately 100 banks in over 30 countries.
The cyber attack is unique, according to the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs, because the hackers are not targeting customer information, but they directly attacked the banks. As reported by Time, the hackers broke into the banks’ computer systems and took note of their daily activities for weeks. Then they stole the funds without alerting anyone by programming ATMs to dispense money at specific times, or by transferring funds to fraudulent bank accounts.
The hacker ring, which has been active since 2013, limited their thefts to about $10 million per bank, which helped to keep their activities from being detected earlier. It seems as though the hackers’ goal was to steal money, because they didn’t bother trying to retrieve any customer information from the banks’ systems.
According to Yahoo! News, most of the banks targeted were in Russia, the United States, Germany, China, and the Ukraine. However, they also hit banks in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. One bank lost $7.3 million through ATM withdrawals, and another one lost $10 million when their online banking platform was exploited.
Vicente Diaz, who works for Kaspersky Labs, said that the pilfering is hard to detect because the hackers are only going after money.
“They’re flexible and quite aggressive and use any tool they find useful for doing whatever they want to do.”
This hack attack is only one of several that have been detected within the last year. As reported by the Inquisitr, another cyber attack by a gang of hackers using malware managed to take $300 million from banks in Russia, the U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands.
Concerned over the increase of cyber attacks, the Obama administration is focusing more on the issue of cybersecurity in the wake of hackers attacking companies like Target, Home Depot, Anthem Insurance, and Sony Pictures. They are asking Congress to approve a new national standard that would give companies 30 days to inform consumers about any security breaches in which their personal information may have been compromised. The current system relies on state laws that vary across the country.
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