Group-IB, a Moscow-based cyber-security firm revealed that a new hacker group, “Silence,” carried out a massive cyber attack on Russian banks and financial institutions in January 2019.
Hackers associated with Silence sent about 80,000 malicious emails to bank professionals and employees working at credit and financial institutions.
They started sending phishing emails to the employees of financial institutions on January 16, 2019. They tricked the employees by making them believe that the emails were from “XIX International Forum iFin-2019.”
The phishing emails contained a ZIP archive with an invitation to the forum. In addition, the emails contained a malware “Silence. Downloader.” Group-IB claims that only hackers from Silence use this malware.
According to a report, Rustam Mirkasymov, Head of Dynamic Malicious Analysis at Group-IB said that Silence is one of the most dangerous hacker groups, being equally as powerful as MoneyTaker and Cobalt.
Group-IB claims that MoneyTaker has also carried out several such attacks on financial institutions earlier. In 2018, Money Taker carried out a cyber-attack on a Bank and stole approximately $920,000.
Silence is a small group, but it is growing its network fast. And, when compared to other groups, it performs a lot of research before picking targets. Silence also takes more time to carry out an attack. In the beginning, the group wasn’t capable of carrying out massive attacks but it is becoming stronger with each passing day.
The hacker group has spent three years preparing to carry out cyber-attacks on Russian financial institutions.
A report says that the group managed to steal over $100,000 during their first cyber-attack on ATMs in 2017. In 2018, Silence stole approximately $550,000 from ATMs. In April 2018, Silence carried out cyber-attacks on ATMs and stole approximately $150,000.
The group started carrying out cyber-attacks in 2016 yet failed to steal any money that year.
The group mostly focuses on attacking financial institutions in Russia. It also carries out cyber-attacks on organizations in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Poland, etc.
According to a report, Dmitry Volkov, the Chief Technology Officer at Group-IB said, “Silence, in many ways, is changing the perception of cybercrime in terms of the nature of the attacks, the tools, tactics, and even the members of the group.”
Financial institutions have always been the first choice of cybercriminals when it comes to stealing a massive amount of money. Thus, Russian banks are not the only victims of such attacks; cybercriminals are targeting financial institutions across the world.
Financial institutions should focus on strengthening their cybersecurity practices to avoid such attacks. They should take the assistance of reliable cybersecurity advisory and consulting firms to enhance their understanding of emerging cyber threats and to figure out ways of preventing them.
A good cybersecurity firm can help you identify the flaws in your policies and processes; they can also help you fix them.
Article Provided By : Accume Partners