During the holidays cybercriminals kept themselves busy, hacking websites and stealing all the data they could find. South African Postbank, a financial institution owned by SA Post Office, is one of the victims.
South African bank Postbank was robbed of $6.7 million earlier this month. But the thieves didn’t need masks and guns to pull off the job — just computers.
To pull off the heist, the hackers created a backdoor into one of the bank’s computers. From that hacked computer, they were able to access the rest of the network and issue the commands to distribute the $6.7 million to different accounts owned by the thieves. Those accounts were promptly emptied via ATM visits. Preliminary reports revealed that the cybercrime ring responsible for the theft opened a number of Postbank accounts all across the country and then, in the period between January 1 and January 3, they managed to access a Post Office employee’s computer from where they deposited money from other accounts into their own.
Since the crime didn’t raise any red flags with its automated fraud-detection programs, bank employees failed to notice the money was missing until the bank re-opened after the New Year’s holiday.
The irony is that 3 years ago the institution invested a large amount of money in their anti-fraud systems. However, as we can clearly see, anti-fraud systems aren’t worth much if the company doesn’t have a strict policy for the way their employees handle computers.
If the reports are true, then it is very likely that an employee with privileged rights must have fallen victim to a scam email designed to spread a malicious Trojan.
Fin24 reports that the National Intelligence Agency, which offers assistance when a government institution is compromised, has launched an investigation to precisely determine the causes that allowed for the incident to occur.
Bank representatives state that none of their customers are affected by the breach, but security experts believe that Postbank’s systems desperately need an upgrade.
Crooks don’t necessarily have to hack into a bank’s systems to gain access as it may be much easier to manipulate someone into handing over some information that can be utilized to just waltz in without being detected.
Lately, we’re presented with many cases in which a little bit of social engineering can perform much more efficiently than even the most sophisticated piece of malware. Take the thieves who stole 9 million dollars from payroll debit cards issued by RBS Worldpay.
Anyone who has been in information security recently knows that it has gotten easier for cybercriminals to build stealth crimeware. The malware we deal with on a regular basis grows ever more difficult to find, while high-end targeted attacks such as Stuxnet and other advanced persistent threats (APTs, the abbreviation I hate) are using ever more advanced rootkit techniques to avoid detection.
Cybercriminals use clever stealth techniques to evade detection because it allows their malware to be more effective, live on a machine or network longer, and thus maximize the compromise. McAfee Labs is now at the point where we detect more than 110,000 new unique rootkits per quarter.
To make matters worse, there is another issue that many fail to recognize:
Today’s current OS-based security model is not adequate; cybercriminals know how to get past these defenses every time.
The security industry has to find a new vantage point on cybercriminal behavior to stop and uncover their stealth techniques. It is time for our industry to start looking at security beyond the operating system to gain a more effective view of how cybercriminals operate.
Stealth is the art of travelling undetected, of being invisible. Stealth technology allows military aircraft,
Ninjas, and malware to sneak up on the enemy to launch an attack, gain intelligence, or take over
systems and data.
Although stealth techniques are used in sophisticated attacks like Conficker and Operation Aurora, the
Stuxnet attack offers a new blueprint—and benchmark—for how committed criminals can use stealth
techniques to steal data or target computing systems. Stuxnet innovations included a combination of
five zero-day vulnerabilities, three rootkits, and two stolen digital certificates. Powerful toolkits, like what is available in the Zeus Crimeware Toolkit, make stealth malware development a “point- and-click” endeavor, no longer restricted to the most knowledgeable programmers. While there are no definitive industry figures, McAfee Labs estimates that about 15 percent of malware uses sophisticated stealth technique to hide and spread malicious threats that can cause significant damage.1 These attacks form the cornerstone—the “persistent” part—of advanced persistent threats (APTs).
Rapport is a lightweight security software solution that protects web communication between enterprises, such as banks, and their customers and employees. The product is free for the customers of over 70 different banks, AND can also be downloaded independently of those services for FREE. You can protect any web site you choose outside of the network, and also use the tool with Chrome, IE and Firefox.
Rapport implements a completely new approach to protecting customers and employees. By locking down customer browsers and creating a tunnel for safe communication with the online website, Rapport prevents Man-in-the-Browser malware and Man-in-the-Middle attacks. Rapport also prevents phishing via website authentication to ensure that account credentials are passed to genuine sources only.
Rapport’s unique technology blocks advanced Trojans including Zeus, Silon, Torpig and Yaludle without the need to constantly update and chase the different variants of these Trojans. Its proprietary browser lockdown technology simply prevents unauthorized access to information that flows between customer and employee websites regardless of whether these attempts were generated by new or known Trojan variants. Rapport is also capable of preventing very targeted and under the radar phishing attacks.
Enterprises such as banks can easily configure the system to protect customers and employees and begin offering them Rapport software for quick download from their website. Following a simple one time installation process, Rapport begins securing browsers, works in the background and does not call for a change in user behavior – customers and employees can bank and use the internet as usual – thus enabling fast adoption. Rapport comes with a rich management application that enables enterprises to effectively trigger alerts, view and analyze data as well as manage security.
Rapport is focused on preventing online fraud committed by financial malware and differs from Anti-Virus because it:
* Locks down access to financial and private data instead of looking for malware signatures
* Communicates with your online banking website to provide feedback on security level and report unauthorized access attempts
* Allows for immediate action to be taken against changes in the threat landscape.
* Blocks Zeus, Torpig, Silent Banker and other Man-in-the-Browser attacks
* Blocks Keyloggers and screen grabbing
* Blocks Man-in-the Middle attacks
* Blocks Phishing attacks
* Works on both Windows and Mac
* Protects immediately upon install
* Complements other security software
* Transparent to customers and employees unless a threat is detected
* Delivers advanced reporting on current and new threats including zero-day attacks
* Comes with pre-packaged marketing tools and materials
* 24×7 support option
* Prevents wire and ACH fraud
* Protects against account takeover attacks
* Deployment within weeks, requires no change to enterprise applications
* Fast notification of threats affecting your customers and employees
* Fast adoption by customers using proven tools
* Added security with no change in user behavior
* Proactive rather than reactive to threats and incidents
Browser Lockdown – This technology specifically prevents unauthorized access to sensitive information in the browser. Before launching the browser, Rapport verifies its integrity, preventing unauthorized modifications to the browser’s executable. Rapport locks down all programmatic interfaces to sensitive information inside the browser while it is connected to a protected website. This prevents browser add-ons and other pieces of software from accessing login information, financial information and transactions based on customized policy created with the enterprise. Additionally, Rapport protects the browser’s memory and prevents any pieces of code injected into the browser’s memory from capturing or modifying sensitive information.
Keystroke Lockdown – Rapport prevents tampering and reading of data by encrypting sensitive information from the moment it is typed into the keyboard until it reaches the browser. Trusteer encrypts keystrokes very low in the operating system’s kernel and keeps them encrypted inside the kernel and user space to achieve this goal.
Communication Lockdown – This technology enables Rapport to verify the legitimacy of the website that the customer or employee is currently using, preventing the submission of sensitive information to fraudulent websites. What’s more, verification of a direct connection with the website and assurance of encryption are also confirmed to prevent Man-in-the-Middle attacks. This technology prevents many ACH FRAUD transactions and efforts of trojans such as Torpig & Zeus.
Actionable Intelligence – All policy violations, such as attempts to read password fields and change web page content are reported to the Trusteer cloud-based fraud analysis service. Trusteer’s team of fraud analysts works 24×7, analyzing information from customers all over the world in order to identify new attack patterns. Advanced automatic update mechanisms allow Trusteer to react immediately to new threats. Organizations are immediately alerted regarding new attacks as they occur, instead of days, weeks, and even months after the fact.
These are not the days of the Nimda Virus, so get protected!