Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mass bank cracking cases

Recently, Kaspersky Lab, a famous online security company in Russia, published that there were many cases of hacking against online banks.

According to Kaspersky, at least 300 million US$ was to be stolen from the banks in 30 countries. The total amount of damage is estimated to reach 900 million US$.

The New York Times: Bank Hackers Steal Millions via Malware

The Hackers News: Hackers Stole $300 Million from 100 Banks Using Malware

This is a shocking report. Even if there are risks of being cracked in any internet services, banks have been considered as the most invulnerable place. Although many organizations as big as Sony and Mt Gox were reported to be targeted for cracking, there had been no report that real banks were infiltrated. If Kaspersky's analysis is true, we have to recognize there is no place on the internet free from being victimized.

The media reports explained how the crackers could get accessed to the bank systems. I was surprised by the simplicity of the procedure they adopted. Crackers sent e-mails infected with malware to the employees of a bank. This malware enables the cracker to see the whole manipulation the operator of the infected computer performed. After the confirmation of the procedure, the hacker requested the computer to send money to their account, or to operate an ATM directly. This kind of methods includes no innovative technology. Censoring and remote-controlling of a computer are not a tough task for modern machines. I guess any skilled persons could easily carry out this cyber crime.

Nowadays, digital currencies such as Bitcoin is broadening its market. One of the disadvantages of them is the security. Mt Gox was bankrupted due to being cracked last year. Bit Stamp was also inflicted a damage up to 5 million US$ recently.

My past entry: Bitcoin in chaos

Coin Desk: Bitstamp Claims $5 Million Lost in Hot Wallet Hack

Compared to such emerging currencies, megabanks were deemed to be reliable at least as a storage of money. However, the situation is perhaps changing. Crackers and cyber guard are competing each other. If the balance is inclined to the former, thus, if someone develops a sophisticated cracking method with low cost, it will be difficult to protect the data from persons with malice. This means a serious threat to modern infrastructure.

To be relieved, there are many options to store your money. Besides the cash, stocks, gold, real estates, and digital currency are available. In the near future, everyone will distribute their assets into various forms. And then, the dominance of the banks will be dispelled.

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