Feeds

Major £30m cyberheist pulled off using MOBILE malware

Eurograbber did just what it says on the tin

Boost IT visibility and business value

Cybercrooks swiped £30 million (€36m) from the banks accounts of 30,000 customers in Italy, Germany, Spain and Holland over the summer using an elaborate mobile banking fraud scam.

The malware-based attack targeted both corporate and private banking users, performing automatic transfers that varied from €500€ to €250,000 to intermediary accounts controlled by members of the gang. The fraud used malware based on the infamous ZeuS cybercrime toolkit to target the PCs and mobile phones of banking customers.  It circumvented SMS messages used by banks to secure customers’ account logins and authenticate transactions, according to firewall and security tools firm Check Point.

The attack worked by infecting victims’ PCs and mobiles with a modified version of the Zeus trojan. When victims attempted online bank transactions, the process was intercepted by the trojan. Under the guise of upgrading the online banking software, victims were duped into giving additional information including their mobile phone number, infecting the mobile device. The mobile Trojan worked on both Blackberry and Android devices, giving attackers a wider reach.

With victims’ PCs and mobile devices compromised, the attackers could intercept and hijack all the victims’ banking transactions, including the key to completing the transaction: the bank’s SMS to the customer containing the ‘transaction authentication number’ (TAN). With the account number, password, and TAN, the attackers were able to stealthily transfer funds out of victims’ accounts while victims were left with the impression that their transaction had completed successfully.

Customers at an estimated 30 banks fell victims to the cyberheist. The so-called Eurograbber attack began with infecting victims PCs with a modified versions of the ZeuS Trojan before hijacking bank sessions online to trick victims into handing over their mobile number. Fraudsters then sent links to download a modified version of the Zitmo (Zeus in the mobile) malware to marks under the guise of an "online banking security update". This step allow hackers to authorise fraudulent transactions while all the while keeping victims unaware that anything had gone wrong.

The scam was discovered by Check Point and Versafe, a private developer of security applications. Affected banks have been notified. The two security firms are working with law enforcement to block the attacks.

Check Point and Versafe got involved because they were asked to investigate a spate of unusual transactions from bank accounts, and started tracing the routes and IP addresses involved in those transactions.  This uncovered the Zeus infections and the attack process, leading them to notify the affected banks and law enforcement.

"Cyberattacks are constantly evolving to take advantage of the latest trends," said Gabi Reish, head of product management at Check Point Software Technologies. "As online and mobile banking continue to grow, we will see more targeted attacks in this area, and Eurograbber is a prime example.”

Eran Kalige, head of security operation centre, Versafe, added: “As seen with Eurograbber, attackers are focusing on the weakest link, the people behind the devices, and using very sophisticated techniques to launch and automate their attacks and avoid traceability.” ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?