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June 27, 2012

The Greatest Cyber Bank Robbery in History

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

Cloud computing has assisted criminals in pulling off the greatest bank robbery in history. McAfee (News - Alert) is calling this event “Operation High Roller,” and with over $2.5 billion in funds fraudulently obtained across the globe, this is easily the greatest bank robbery in history. What makes this event somewhat ironic is that these bank accounts were thought to be protected by the tightest security money can buy. But as security expert, Dave Marcus of McAfee states, “These guys really know what they’re doing.”

Dave Marcus of McAfee tells the press, “The automated natures of these attacks really require that kind of server/cloud functionality. It can't all take place on the host [computer],” he adds. “All of the logic and all of the sophistication really does reside on that [cloud] server.”

As Marcus reveals what he and other experts have identified as the methods the robbers used, it becomes apparent that these culprits possess some rather impressive IT skills. However, it all started with an e-mail. The e-mail appeared to be a legitimate bank notification sent to various users with substantial accounts. After users clicked on the links, malware infiltrated their system and web-injects did the rest.

Zeus and SpyEye are thought to be the malware platform of choice in this massive fraudulent operation. The culprits operated under what Marcus deemed, “a level of sophistication never seen before,” referring to their ability to bypass stringent authentication procedures. In addition to IT skills, the hackers had to have had a keen understanding of bank transaction procedures.

As indicated by the video above, the attacks started in Italy, then moved to Germany and the U.K., spread to Latin America and eventually reached the United States. Some of the culprits have been identified after tracing their operations to servers in Russia. It seems that Russia is developing a reputation as a nation equipped with malware expertise. Not only do many notorious hackers come from this part of the globe, but reputable labs where research has led to the identification of malware such as Flame, thus yielding global benefits.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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