Financially-motivated cyber-attacks still on the rise, report shows

Friday 2 August 2019 10:18 CET | News

A report published by Finnish cybersecurity company F-Secure has revealed an increasing sophistication of financially-motivated cyber-attacks, with an aim to steal data and sabotage trading systems.

F-Secure broadly categorises the threats into three: data theft, data sabotage, and direct financial theft. Financial information, like medical data, is very sensitive, and can come useful for attackers to blackmail victims and perpetrate a variety of social engineering attacks.

The report found North Korea as a unique case of a nation-state conducting financially-motivated attacks and noted how organised criminal groups inspired by North Korea have compromised banks’ SWIFT international payments systems — a technique employed by state-sponsored Lazarus Group (APT38) to steal almost USD 1 billion from Bangladesh Bank back in 2016.

Furthermore, the banking sector risks being exposed to a new wave of attacks, including the use of distractive malware, supply chain compromises and targeted ransomware, that go far beyond traditional theft. The report also observes that the re-weaponization of exploits have enabled the threat actors to offer “cybercrime-as-a-service” on dark web.

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Keywords: F-Secure, cyber attacks, data theft, data sabotage, direct financial theft, North Korea, cybercrime-as-a-service
Countries: World