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Corcow Trojan Alters Ruble-Dollar Exchange Rates


Researchers have detected a Trojan that embezzled currency exchange rates between Russian Ruble and American Dollar. It seems hackers employed the malicious program against Kazan-situated Energobank a Russian bank during 2015 when they created orders valuing almost 350m pounds and placed them at artificial demand and supply prices, while embezzled with the exchange rate to the extent of 15% within just few minutes.

Naturally an investigation into the incident followed from Russia' apex bank that doubted of currency manipulation although couldn't discover anything so concluded presence of traders' errors which caused the swing. The Trojan in discussion is Corcow that according to reports crept inside 250,000 PCs across the globe as also contaminated more than hundred financial institutions. The Corcow remains undetected with anti-virus programs while it stays concealed inside a bank's computer spanning 6-months-and-more.

The bank, after the Corcow incident, annulled the claims while engaged the experts of Group-IB for an investigation. Two weeks passing Vedomosti a Russian newspaper released news that Energobank declared a 244m Ruble (USD3.2m) loss because of the illegal transaction thus prompting it to make a claim from the insurance company.

Meanwhile based on their investigation, Group-IB feels the attackers in the incident probably was only doing an experiment for analyzing the capabilities of their Trojan. So far, there is no clue whether anybody monetarily gained from the illegitimate deal.

According to Group-IB, attackers also used the malware against the card system of another Russian bank causing a theft of several hundred million Rubles from ATMs during August. The Trojan crept into the Russian bank's PC-network through electronic mail, said Kaspersky Lab the security company based in Moscow through a statement that was published on Monday. The AV vendor would not name the lender because of certain non-disclosure agreement.

The creator of Corcow is Metel criminal gang, which apparently is active only within Russia, albeit the group might pose danger to global financial institutions. Metel's malware let card-owners of the bank withdraw cash from Automatic Teller Machines that other lenders maintained while their balance remained intact, thus letting several transactions occur during just one night.

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