Russian Central Bank Hacks

Bank hacks are one of the main problems that can lead to country destabilization and collapse its monetary system. Top priority criminals of the modern society are bank hackersĀ and other similar cyber criminals.

The Russian Central bank authorities recently informed that over $45 million were stolen from their bank accounts as a result of bank hacks. Their top law enforcement agency, The FSB confirmed that hackers stole 2 billion rubles, which is equivalent to $31 million. According to Artiom Sychev the central bank security executive, they were lucky that they were able to return some of the money.

The following cyber attacks happened a few times during 2016. Strict dates about when the bank hacks took place were not published. The same kind of cyber attacks was used in January 2015, when hackers tried to rob the Ecuadorian bank.

The Hacking Source and locations of the Attacks

The source that was used by the hackers and how they get a hold of the bank system is not yet fully discovered.

By hacking into SWIFT, the interbank communication network that is used to complete worldwide transactions the attackers got a hold of the Ecuadorian’s bank codes. After that, in October the same technique was used on a bank in the Philipines. The following cyber hackers are not just into robbing banks, they also rob their clients by infiltrating the bank’s security system.

This year it began back in February when cyber criminals tried to steal $101 million from Bangladesh’s Central bank. Their attempt was to steal $951 million in a total of 5 transfers out of Bangladesh’s Central bank, but the US Federal Reserve in New York has successfully stopped them before the transfers were completed. As it turns out it seems like their main target is Russian banks.

On December 5th there was an attempt on many Russian banks in various cities. This time the attackers wanted to rip off a lot more and even destabilize the entire Russian banking system.

From researches made by Symantec – the top cyber-security firm, it was confirmed that the following cyber crime attempts are incoming from North Korea, from a group of hackers tagged “Lazarus”. On the other hand, The FSB reports that the bank hackers were stationed in The Netherlands during their attempts upon the Russian banking system.

The Russian security system concluded that the hackers next move was using some kind of mass text messaging system in order to spread fake news upon their social media in order to result as a questioning of their financial stability. Experts believe that this is similar to the fake news spreading operation that went viral in the US during the presidential elections.

However, by this day the cyber criminals that targeted The Russian Central Bank, or any of the other targeted banks are not yet discovered.