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Security Companies Expose ‘Anunak’ Hacker Cabal

Two security companies recently exposed 'Anunak' a hacker cabal which understandably moved funds unlawfully from innocent people's accounts in banks amounting several million dollars, published v3.co.uk, December 22, 2014.

Within one study paper published lately, Group-IB situated in Moscow and Fox-IT another outfit situated in Holland stated that the hacker group carrying out spying operations had been fundamentally attacking payment systems and banks within CIS countries and Russia, albeit it also targeted European and US companies during 2013.

The paper notably indicates that the PC-intruders largely from Ukraine and Russia have been utilizing several methods of attack in combination such as spear-phishing e-mails, abuse of latest security flaws within MS-Office, botnets, banker trojans and backdoor malware for hijacking banks' internal networks. These PC-hackers have been maintaining connections with the Carberp network-of-bots that stole banking information. The mentioned combination of attack shows a considerable shift from the conventional cyber-crime technique wherein bank customers were targeted.

Once Anunak acquires control over a bank's PC-network, it does many tasks more importantly dispatching phishing electronic mails destined for other banking institutions as also plant additional malware though largely onto ATMs of the attacked banks.

Such malicious software cause mix-up of currency denominations in the ATMs so that a criminal while entering for ten 100-rouble notes actually get ten 5,000-rouble notes.

Other crimes by Anunak include hijacking organizations like media groups to carry out industrial espionage alternatively for acquiring trading benefit by venturing into a stock market.

Hitherto, the cabal has acquired admission into more than fifty banks, sixteen retailers and five payment systems causing 2 banks from the 50-or-so to give up their licenses. For every incident, the mean cost has been around $2m.

Senior Vice-President as well as General Manager Andy Chandler working for Fox-IT said that criminals had been observed diversifying their activities for years, like using POS (point-of-sale) malicious software. V3.co.uk reported this.

Chandler further said Anunak's abilities could cause threats to many industries and continents, indicating the presence of shady region between botnets and APTs (advanced persistent threats).

A pragmatic approach that the cabal had applied made another beginning within the cyber-crime scenario, the official concluded.

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