Sophisticated Trojan loots business bank accounts
German-speaking hacker crew hitting banks in U.S., U.K., Spain and Italy
Computerworld - A German-speaking hacker crew is looting commercial bank accounts in four countries using a custom-built Trojan put in place by expertly crafted and extremely focused phishing attacks, a security researcher said today.
A variant of the Prg Banking malware, the new Trojan has stolen hundreds of thousands from accounts at some of the biggest banks in the U.S., the U.K., Spain and Italy, said Jackson. "This is not widespread, but it is very dangerous. They've already stolen more than $200,000 from the accounts we've monitored, but this has really flown under the radar."
Jackson also said he has found at least four servers that contain Prg configuration files and bogus versions of legitimate banking sites, as well as caches of data harvested by the Trojan.
The cleverness and technical know-how of the attackers was almost breathtaking. "If you were on the bank side of this connection [with the Trojan], it would appear to be a person on the other end running the account," Jackson said. "It would seem as if someone was clicking the keys on the virtual keyboard and sending wire transfers."
According to Jackson, the hackers -- who speak German, though they may not reside in Germany proper -- mined the vast amount of data collected previously by a less powerful generic version of Prg for evidence of commercial banking accounts, including specific URLs of offshore banks or indications of wire transfers.
The crew targeted commercial accounts, said Jackson, both because those accounts typically contain bigger balances and because they usually have the built-in ability to conduct wire transfers. Once they break into a business account, the hackers can quickly plunder it by using wire transfers to move its monies to hacker-controlled accounts.
With victim accounts picked, the hackers then create what Jackson called "very convincing" phishing e-mails and send them to the account owners, who have been identified using data stolen earlier. "They'll usually have the bank account number, and the first and last name of its owner," said Jackson, as well as security details, such as whether the account is protected by a one-time password. "The e-mail will claim that the user needs to download a new one-time password or soft token, but when the user clicks on the link and reaches the phish site, the Prg Trojan is downloaded instead."
From there, the highly automated account thief takes over. The malware alerts the hacker when the account owner is actually online with his bank, "piggybacking" on the session to silently steal the username and password without actually duping the user into entering it. Then using its ability to simulate keystrokes, the Trojan walks through all the steps a human being would take to, for instance, wire funds to another account. An account can be emptied in seconds.
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Best Practices for Securing Hadoop Historically, Apache Hadoop has provided limited security capabilities. To protect sensitive data being stored and analyzed in Hadoop, security architects should use a...
- Top Tips for Securing Big Data Environments: Why Big Data Doesn't Have to Mean Big Security Challenges Organizations must come to terms with the security challenges they introduce. As big data environments ingest more data, organizations will face significant risks...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!