The growing sophistication of cyber-attacks and the proliferation of vulnerabilities resulting from the rise of mobile computing are forcing financial institutions to rethink data security and embrace new fraud-fighting techniques and technologies, including real-time monitoring.
Anonymous: 10 Facts About The Hacktivist Group
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Data security has long been a priority for financial services firms. But a wave of very public cyber-attacks by international hacker groups such as Anonymous, combined with an already distrustful public following the financial crisis, has forced financial services firms to step up their network security to prevent data breaches and regain clients' trust. While victims of some of the more notable attacks and data breaches of 2011 were large consumer companies and government agencies--including Sony, PBS, the U.S. Senate, and even the CIA and FBI; security experts say financial services firms, traditionally a popular target of fraudsters, are increasingly a target of criminal hackers.
Citibank, for example, discovered a data breach on May 10, 2011, from a hack attack, the consumer fraud website PrivacyRights.org reported. Two weeks later, Citigroup officials concluded that the data thieves had captured included the names, account numbers, and email addresses of about 360,000 customers.
"The reality is that the people who are looking to commit fraud are targeting anybody who has Internet access to applications that allow money to be moved," comments Ben Knieff, Director of Product Marketing at Nice Actimize, a provider of financial crime, risk and compliance solutions. Outside of the retail banking area, hackers could target asset managers, wealth managers, even investors who have access to online assets, relates Knieff.
Security professionals say cyber-attacks have become relentless--and more sophisticated than ever. According to reports, hackers can even purchase crime-ware kits on the Internet based on the number of machines they want to infect for as little as $400 to $700.
While five years ago financial services firms mainly saw hackers using "relatively simplistic methods to target customer accounts, attack patterns have shifted," says Lou Steinberg, CTO at TD Ameritrade. In addition, many hackers, such as Anonymous, now have social agendas, he notes.
Hackers, according to Jason Milletary, technical director for malware analysis on the Dell SecureWorks' Counter Threat Unit (CTU) research team, a provider of security information services to financial firms, use a variety of techniques to distribute malware--malicious code on computer systems designed to steal personal information and passwords or to take control of the machine for distributing spam without the owner's knowledge. They may leverage social engineering (by making an email appear to come from a friend or colleague to entice the user to open the document, for example) to try to get users to reveal passwords. Hackers also look to exploit weaknesses in applications to steal clients' credentials.
It's no longer a matter of if you get hacked, but when. In this special retrospective of news coverage, Monitoring Tools And Logs Make All The Difference, Dark Reading takes a look at ways to measure your security posture and the challenges that lie ahead with the emerging threat landscape. (Free registration required.)
Published: 2014-07-10 Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in group/control_panel/manage in Liferay Portal 6.1.2 CE GA3, 6.1.X EE, and 6.2.X EE allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) _2_firstName, (2) _2_lastName, or (3) _2_middleName parameter.
Published: 2014-07-10 The File Transfer feature in WebEx Meetings Client in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server and WebEx Meeting Center does not verify that a requested file was an offered file, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a modified request, aka Bug IDs CSCup62442 and CSCup58463.
Published: 2014-07-10 Heap-based buffer overflow in the file-sharing feature in WebEx Meetings Client in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server and WebEx Meeting Center allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via crafted data, aka Bug IDs CSCup62463 and CSCup58467.
Published: 2014-07-10 Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in viewfilecontents.do in the Dialed Number Analyzer (DNA) component in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an unspecified parameter, aka Bug ID CSCup76308.
Published: 2014-07-10 The Multiple Analyzer in the Dialed Number Analyzer (DNA) component in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allows remote authenticated users to bypass intended upload restrictions via a crafted parameter, aka Bug ID CSCup76297.