Expert: Hackers get more interested in infrastructure, crypto money
MOSCOW, Feb 6 (PRIME) -- The volume of money stolen by cyber criminals in Russia decreased to U.S. $55.441 million in July 2016– June 2017 from $66.863 million in July 2015–June 2016, but hackers refocus on infrastructure and cryptocurrencies, Ilya Sachkov, founder and a co-owner of information security firm Group-IB, said on Tuesday at the Cyber Security Forum.
“Physical robbery takes place every 90 seconds, and 2,920 records of banking data are stolen within the same stretch of time. These statistical data are almost the same in Russia and in Europe,” Sachkov said.
“The most powerful groups of cybercriminals hunt for money, they’re not interested either in politics or in terrorism. Their main goal is to steal money and the core means remain the same: the system of Internet banking for companies; banking cards; a colossal growth of Trojans for Android, allowing hackers to steal money from online banking and cards; and target attacks on banks, when money is stolen directly from accounts or via SWIFT.”
The largest hacker teams, which are now most active in the post-Soviet space, aim at Internet banking, payment channels, automated-teller machines, points-of-sales, and card processing. Card processing allows perpetrators to attack a bank in Russia, for example, and withdraw money on the territory of another state, which makes it almost impossible to get the stolen money back. “It makes card processing the main trend of protection against hackers in 2018,” Sachkov said.
“Last year we saw a group of hackers that disguised its political actions with financial motivation. There had not been such a trend before, and all hackers used to want just money. Along with money theft we observe cases of espionage, theft of information on banks’ main clients, core economic trends in the country via access to the banking and payment systems.”
There is also viruses like Petya and WannaCry, when hackers steal money and later activate an encoder-virus that fully disrupts work of infrastructure. “Last summer this activity forced some 200 companies (in Russia) to suspend work for a period from a week to 10 days,” Sachkov said.
Another trend is a rise of ready-made scripts allowing a wider, less-qualified circle of people to use such programs to get involved in illegal activities
“Although many people believe that cryptocurrencies are not money, they can be swapped for real money in many countries, which is also the case for perpetrators. This is why there is a great volume of programs to steal cryptocurrencies. Several groups of hackers stopped attacking Russian banks and fully focused on stealing cryptocurrencies, which can be later exchanged for real money. Victims are not protected by law, which is why the crypto industry needs an even better protection than any other,” the experts said.
Hackers also create many viruses for the dominant Android operating system, which has 80% of the world’s smartphone market, making users widely exposed to malware. “A great deal of criminals creates a great deal of programs to attack Android devices,” Sachkov said.