Hackers rob $1 billion from 100 banks in massive online theft

Hackers use malware to infect computers of bank employees and surveillance systems to carry out their heist.

By Nikhil Pradhan Published Date
16 - Feb - 2015
| Last Updated
16 - Feb - 2015
Hackers rob $1 billion from 100 banks in massive online theft

[UPDATE 04:13 pm]: Kaspersky has released its report on the bank hack and has revealed how to detect if a bank PC has been infected:

[ORIGINAL STORY]: In one of the largest reported hacking crimes ever, cybercriminals from Russia, China and Europe have stolen approximately $1 billion from 100 banks and financial companies across 30 countries. According to a report by Kaspersky, the hackers started their heist in 2013 with the help of malware, and it’s still in process. Kaspersky has released an early copy of the report to the New York Times and is expected to issue it to the general public at its security summit which will begin tonight.

Carbanak, the hacking group as labeled by Kaspersky, sent malware through emails containing links and videos to bank employees, and infected the employees’ computers and the companies’ surveillance systems. Thereafter, the hackers recorded sensitive data from the company’s systems and used it to transfer money to their own fake accounts or to even make ATMs automatically dispense cash at a certain time so that they could collect it.

Even though the scope of the crime is huge and the concerned parties have been briefed about Kaspersky’s findings, no bank or financial institution has stepped forward and confirmed the theft. The affected banks and companies hail from the US, Japan, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, China, Canada and some other European countries. Indian banks are not expected to be on that list but we’ll get a clearer idea tonight after Kaspersky publishes its report.

Sources: The New York Times, BBC

Nikhil PradhanNikhil Pradhan