Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Invisible violence

The first film by Quentin Tarantino, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, tells the story about a group of criminals who plan to rob a bank and get the money. Since that first film, Tarantino has shown his predilection for violent scenes, bad words and blood. 

But one of the most striking things about this film is that the viewer never sees the assault. In other words, all the entire first part of the film tells the story of how these thieves prepare the robbery. The second part begins when the assault is over and they are escaping. Something similar could happen with certain malwares that are used to attack banks. Cyberattacks have made invisible the old method of entering a bank with a gun and hear thieves shouting “Hands up!”. Some time ago, the Trojan Dyre caused more than a headache and big economic losses to banks in the United States, England and Australia.

The malware caused tens of millions of euros in losses through dozens of spam and phishing campaigns since June 2014. Dyre also caused thefts for more than 5 million euros to the airlines Ryanair and affected business for amounts of more than one million euros by using stolen banking credentials. The nightmare seemed to have ended with the death of the malware in 2015 and the arrest of the alleged perpetrators in February in Moscow this year.

However, the ghost of Dyre has come to light again these days. Its name is TrickBot. The expert on this type of trojans, Jason Reaves, says Trickbot has a strong similarity to Dyre. Apparently, according to The Register website, one or more members of the band that created Dyre seem to be involved in this new malware, which has already affected Australian banks such as Westpac, ANZ, NAB and St. George.

The similarities between Dyre and TrickBot are staggering. The small changes between the codes of the two malwares seem like simple updates. According to researchers, the similarities include chargers and custom encryptions, along with a similar hashing that seems to be an upgraded command and control encryption mechanism. “This similarities would suggest that some individuals related to the development of Dyre have found their way into coming back to criminal operations”, Reaves says.

But money is not the only thing that can be stolen. Researchers at the University of Toyama’s Hydrogen Isotope Research Centre have suffered a cyberattack this week. In an official statement from the university to the Japanese media, they say the attackers managed to steal files on multiple occasions, taking both research data and the personal details of nuclear scientists. Apparently the hackers sent spear-phishing emails to several researchers that were working at different nuclear laboratories since November 2015 to June 2016.

In Tarantino’s first film people get wounded and die. Perhaps in the world of cybercrime, violence is not so explicit, but that doesn’t mean it is not practiced. It is less obvious, but it’s violence after all. And the best weapon we have to avoid is precaution.

Original source: freeimages


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