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Symantec Identifies Malware Targeting Customers of SWIFT

Symantec, a Cybersecurity firm, said today that a second hacking group was trying robbing the banks with fake SWIFT messages. The same method stole $81 million in one of the high-profile attacks on the Bangladesh Central Bank in the early part of this year.

Cyber-security giant declared that it found a malware piece, entitled as Odinaff, on systems of around 20 customers of Symantec. The same malware could delete customer logs of SWIFT, which is the electronic messaging system that is used by banks globally. Scmagazineuk.com posted on October 11th, 2016, stating that Odinaff is in fact used for gaining foothold into the networks from where point attackers may launch more attacks as well as installs other malicious tools.

Research by Symantec reveals new perception on current hacking, which has been disclosed earlier by SWIFT. Gottfried Leibbrandt, Chief Executive of SWIFT, told the customers regarding 3 hacks last month and also warned that the cyber attacks are bound to increase on banks.

Symantec also said that maximum Odinaff attacks happened in Hong Kong, United States, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Australia.

Symantec explained: "the tools used are designed to monitor customers' local message logs for keywords relating to certain transactions. They will then move these logs out of customers' local SWIFT software environment".

SWIFT customer's exploitation bears a similarity with the type of scam that has been pulled off on the Central Bank of Bangladesh early this year. The robbers breaches the bank, then installed the malware locally and moved to make many cash requests via SWIFT, deleting logs of the transactions, much more like Odinaff.

Lossed are totaled around US$ 81 Million (57 Million Pound), and it is believed that same people used same scam many times in banks all over the world. Symantec promises that they will share the technical information regarding Odinaff with governments, banks, and various other security firms that are involved in SWIFT system.

Kevin Bocek, Venafi chief strategist of cyber-security, concluded: "it is unsurprising to see the headlines doing the rounds again and I'd be shocked if this is the last we see of it".

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