“Money Has Always Been the Motivation” – Operation High Roller Bank Hacking Attacks Continue

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Hacking the Banks: Is Your Bank Balance In Danger?

The distribution of command and control servers used in server-side automated attacks against the European. Image courtesy of McAfee & Guardian Analytics

I also asked Ryan the question on most of our minds – is the malicious code also targeting consumers with lower balances?

He responded that, “it began in Europe, with consumers with smaller balances, as more of a testing ground to see if these attacks would work. This started back in early 2011, but quickly expanded to solely high rollers and continued in that direction to target commercial accounts using sophisticated server-side automation. Presently this threat doesn’t affect non high rollers.”

Good news for those of us who are not millionaires!

How To Defend Against Malware

How can you defend against malware? Your first defense is the same that computer security experts have been offering as advice for years – Don’t click links in your email!

Other than that, Ryan tells us that there are other simple guidelines you can follow, to defend your computers against malware in general.

  • “Keep your AV software up to date.” Why is this important? Antivirus software requires frequent updates, since viruses are constantly changing!
  • “Always keep your computer software up to date to avoid potential vulnerabilities that can lead to exploitation.” Most software has soft spots in the code, where a hacker or virus can gain access. These areas are repaired by patches, which are applied when you run software and operating system updates, so don’t put that off!
  • Always run a malware scan prior to doing anything online that would be considered high risk. What does this mean? Run a virus scan (with updated signature files) before you process a credit card transaction, log in to your bank, or access other personal information.

Computer Security Isn’t Just for Millionaires

Even though Operation High Roller only targets high-balance accounts, other types of malware aren’t quite so choosy. Anyone can be a victim of a virus or hacking attack, and online criminals don’t care if your credit cards are for emergencies only – they’re happy to spend all your money, even if you don’t have very much. If you learn a lesson from the High Roller criminals, and follow the basic computer security suggestions above, you may be able to save yourself, your business, and your family from the negative effects of malware.

Resources:

Marcus, D., Sherstobitoff, R. Dissecting Operation High Roller. (2012). Accessed June 27, 2012.

Guardian Analytics. Stopping Online Fraud for You, and Your Account Holders. (2012). Accessed June 27, 2012.

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