12:58 PM

Bank Hacks: 7 Misunderstood Facts

As security researchers review recent bank hacks--affecting Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo--claims made by supposed hacktivists don't all add up.

5. Data Centers Don't Watch For Outgoing DDoS Attacks

Herberger said that the recent banking attacks should prompt any business with high-volume servers to review its security defenses, including its ability to spot whether its servers might be infected with itsoknoproblembro and filter traffic accordingly.

"If you're a data center, an MSSP, or a cloud provider, you generally don't do egress filtering, and if you do it's for malware--not for a volume-based attack," he said. "You may be worried about the attacks at your perimeter. But I don't think many of these folks may have come to the realization that they may have been a muzzle for the attackers."

6. DDoS Attack Toolkit Found in Saudi Arabia

Interestingly, Radware has found a version of the itsoknoproblembro DDoS toolkit on a server in Saudi Arabia. "It appears to be a clean variant, or not-so-feature-rich variant, that doesn't have all of the functionality that we've witnessed in the wild," said Herberger.

But that discovery is no smoking gun. "I don't know if we can draw too many conclusions from that. It could have been a prototype, or it could be completely innocuous and someone in the company where we found it was playing with it. But it's a data point," he said. "We're still working through what it means."

Despite identifying the toolkit used in the attacks, researchers have yet to find any accompanying command-and-control infrastructure. "It appears that the attacks were coordinated, which leads one to assume that there was a certain amount of command and control," said Herberger. "Whether it was overt--someone controlling it online--or logic, built into the malware, remains to be seen."

7. Attackers Recruiting For New Bank Campaign

In related information security news, 30 U.S. banks are set to be targeted in wire-transfer attacks by a group of 100 botmasters, using a Trojan app that appears to be a variant of the Gozi Trojan, which is designed to steal information from financial services, retail, healthcare, and government-related accounts.

"According to underground chatter, the gang plans to deploy the Trojan in an effort to complete fraudulent wire transfers via man-in-the-middle (MiTM) manual session-hijacking scenarios," said Mor Ahuvia, a cybercrime communications specialist for RSA FraudAction, in a blog post. Expect a "blitzkrieg-like series of Trojan attacks," not least because the forecasted scale of the attacks would involve about 30 times more infected PCs than on average, he told Threatpost.

Wire transfer attack campaigns are not uncommon. Last month, in a joint alert, the FBI, Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center, warned that online criminals have been launching phishing emails and keylogging Trojans at financial institutions to capture employees' logon credentials. Attackers have then been using the credentials to move between $400,000 and $900,000 at a time into overseas accounts.

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User Rank: Apprentice
10/8/2012 | 1:20:00 AM
re: Bank Hacks: 7 Misunderstood Facts
Looks like cyberwar has begun in earnest. How do you respond when you don't have a smokestack to send a missile down?
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