A group of hackers spread worldwide has stolen approximately one billion dollars from over 100 banks, over a period of two years.
This past Saturday, Kaspersky Labs, a company which Interpol and other authorities charged with investigating the cybercrime released a report detailing how the syndicate of hackers, known as Carbanak, comprising individuals from China, Russia, Ukraine and other European countries, digitally stole funds directly from banks.
The group’s methods involved sending virus-ridden e-mails to unsuspecting bank employees who unknowingly downloaded the Trojan horses to their computers. Hackers, now able to access a bank’s internal network, followed the routines of bank employees and would perform copycat transactions so as to make them seem natural. In addition Carbanak hackers would electronically increase a bank account’s balances before stealing actual funds through electronic transactions, thus masking missing funds. Perhaps most entertaining, hackers tapped into ATM software and programmed them to spew cash at certain times, coordinated with individuals who would collect the cash in real time. This tactic caused scenes of spontaneous cash-spewing ATMs, to the shock and joy of unsuspecting passersby.
This most recent and unprecedentedly large scheme only further stresses the need for high security and extreme vigilance in online fraud prevention and information protection in our modern age.