Since October 2015, a sophisticated hacking group being nicknamed ‘Lazarus’, have accessed the interbank communication network called SWIFT. SWIFT is a worldwide network that settles transactions.
‘Lazarus’ are targeting international banks and they have just recently claimed their fourth victim, a bank in the Philippines.
The hackers first broke into the network security at Bangladesh’s central bank and stole $101 million. Similar attacks then happened on private banks in Vietnam and Ecuador.
The other day, Symantec revealed that hackers got into a bank in the Philippines and used the same computer virus. The name of the bank was not released to the public.
The technical director of Symantec Security Response, Eric Chien, said that the banks desktop computers were infected by the hackers. However, they still aren’t quite sure if they managed to move any money or even how they slipped in, in the first place.
Researchers examined the bank attack in the Philippines and they found that the complex code used shared distinct properties. It was specific instructions written in the same words and the code that was used to attack the Bangladesh Bank.
This specific code has been traced to a group of hackers that the researchers worldwide have nicknamed ‘Lazarus’. However, it is still unclear on who these hackers are but there are definitely clues.
These bank attacks aren’t the first lot of attacks that the ‘Lazarus’ group has done. In 2009, they attacked the finance and media websites of South Korea and America. In 2014, Novetta, a cyber security firm, documented how Sony Pictures was also hacked by the same group. They apparently stole data and destroyed computers at the movie studio in Hollywood.
The U.S. government, however, accused the military government of North Korea to be behind the attack.
There is now a worldwide concern that this hacker group has the ability to attack the global financial system. Gottfried Leibbrandt, the CEO of SWIFT, said that these hackers are in a position to bring down numerous banks around the world.
Banks around the world, big or small, need to act with caution and it is a good idea to invest in security services to make sure you are well protected.
To read more about this attack, visit http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/26/technology/swift-bank-hack-philippines-lazarus/