Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

12/7/2018
04:30 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Criminals Use Locally Connected Devices to Attack, Loot Banks

Tens of millions of dollars stolen from at least eight banks in East Europe, Kasperksy Lab says.

Attackers, likely working for the same threat group, have looted tens of millions of dollars from at least eight banks in Eastern Europe after gaining initial access to their networks via devices connected directly to a local network.

In some cases, the attackers planted the devices at the banking institution's central office. In others, they were planted in a regional office or even an office in another country, Kaspersky Lab said in a report this week.

They then used the initial foothold to move deeper into the target organization's network, finding and manipulating systems in order to withdraw millions of dollars using ATMs and other services.

The "DarkVishnya" campaign, as Kaspersky Lab has named it, was a series of attacks on financial institutions, says Sergey Golovanov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. "What they all had in common was the use of a physical device that was connected to the local network and later scanned in order to access open resources," he says.

The attacks are another reminder that network perimeter defenses alone are not enough, Golovanov notes. "Cybercriminals can connect to the network leaving no trace and no logs in networking gear," he says.

In its report, Kaspersky Lab described the devices used in the DarkVishnya attacks as one of three types: a notebook or cheap laptop, a Raspberry Pi computer, or Bash Bunny, a Linux-based tool that can be plugged into a target computer's USB port to execute malicious payloads.

With each attack, the cybercriminals gained initial access to their target organization's building by pretending to be a courier, job seeker, or some other guise. They then connected their rogue devices to the banks' local networks in meeting rooms or to tables with built-in network sockets.

Each of the planted devices was remote-access-enabled via a built-in or USB-connected modem. The device would show up on the local network as an unknown computer, an external flash drive, or a keyboard. But finding it was hard because the device would typically be hidden or installed in a manner to blend in with the surroundings, Kaspersky Lab said in its report.

The attackers then remotely accessed their rogue devices and used them to scan the network for publicly accessible folders, Web servers, and other open resources. The main goal was to gather as much information as possible on servers and workstations used for making payments.  

Once the attackers discovered such systems, they tried brute-forcing their way in or finding data for logging into the systems using legitimate credentials.

"When a malicious program was installed on one of the computers, this program would not connect to external IP addresses belonging to the threat actors," Golovanov says. Instead, it would open a local TCP-port and let criminals connect to it, he says.

In situations where a firewall prevented the technique from working, the attackers would "use a server of one of the local computers on the network that already had permission to access the target system through the firewall," he says. "So some computers had local ports open, and some computers just had IP addresses of computers from the corporate network, not threat actors' external IP addresses."

Kaspersky Lab researchers estimate that the target banks suffered millions of dollars in direct losses from the attack via fraudulent ATM withdrawals and other services that provide banking clients with funds.

Golovanov says that while the attacks were identical and involved the same kind of rogue devices, Kaspersky Lab is currently not making any claims about the potential identity of the threat actors behind DarkVishnya.

Related Content:

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RxVge02U
50%
50%
RxVge02U,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/10/2018 | 5:48:21 AM
Samish Leather

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas on this one. Please keep posting about such articles as they really spread useful information. Dwayne Jhonson Christmas

 

Aviation Faces Increasing Cybersecurity Scrutiny
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
Microsoft Tops Phishers' Favorite Brands as Facebook Spikes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
MoviePass Leaves Credit Card Numbers, Personal Data Exposed Online
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-6154
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The authentication applet in Watchguard Fireware 11.11 Operating System has reflected XSS (this can also cause an open redirect).
CVE-2019-5594
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
An Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation ("Cross-site Scripting") in Fortinet FortiNAC 8.3.0 to 8.3.6 and 8.5.0 admin webUI may allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform a reflected XSS attack via the search field in the webUI.
CVE-2019-6695
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
Lack of root file system integrity checking in Fortinet FortiManager VM application images of all versions below 6.2.1 may allow an attacker to implant third-party programs by recreating the image through specific methods.
CVE-2019-12400
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
In version 2.0.3 Apache Santuario XML Security for Java, a caching mechanism was introduced to speed up creating new XML documents using a static pool of DocumentBuilders. However, if some untrusted code can register a malicious implementation with the thread context class loader first, then this im...
CVE-2019-15092
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The webtoffee "WordPress Users & WooCommerce Customers Import Export" plugin 1.3.0 for WordPress allows CSV injection in the user_url, display_name, first_name, and last_name columns in an exported CSV file created by the WF_CustomerImpExpCsv_Exporter class.