Where in the World Are Bank Hackers? Everywhere, Actually

Financial institutions all over the world are concerned with the possibility of being hacked. Just one small gap in a bank’s security systems can leave it exposed to hacking exploits that cost institutions millions. As hacking groups have grown over the years, they have become bolder in their efforts and often carry out multiple strikes simultaneously. No bank is safe.

The Growing Trend of International Bank Hacking

Hacking has been a risk since the dawn of online banking, but it has become a more pressing threat in recent years. One of the world’s most well-known hacking groups, Silence, got its start in 2016. After hacking banks using techniques perfected by other groups, they struck out on their own and developed their own techniques for exploiting vulnerabilities in financial systems. Millions of dollars have been stolen from banks across almost every continent. Victims come from all walks of life and often have limited recourse.

How They Attack

Hackers change tactics just as quickly—and sometimes, more quickly—than banks come up with security solutions for weaknesses. They are a moving target; as soon as a financial institution solves one issue, hackers are onto the next option. Essentially, they’re running the world’s largest game of cat-and-mouse. 

Hackers rely, ironically, on strong operational security that helps them avoid detection by security systems. This helps them get in and out of systems quickly before detection. After validating email addresses with a falsified error email, groups target active email addresses with malware. Once downloaded, the malware moves quickly, allocating funds to stolen or fake accounts. A money mule withdraws the funds at an appointed time and place.

Who They Target

It seems that no one is immune to attacks by hacking groups. They have hit financial institutions in Europe, Africa, many parts of Russia, Asia, and the Americas. Asia appears to be one of their primary targets at the moment, based on recovered emails that are used to uncover active accounts.

How Banks Can Protect Themselves

Prevention is key. Banks must use the latest security measures and retain experienced security professionals who can track hacking activity and come up with solutions that protect the facility’s security infrastructure. After an attack occurs, victims must act quickly to find responsible parties and recover funds. Quickly hiring an attorney with experience in the recovery of stolen assets is essential if assets have been stolen to avoid having the trail go cold. If your institution has been the victim of hackers, you need to find a STARNet Member Firm in your area. They can help you begin the asset recovery process and limit your damages. Find a firm in your area now.

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STARNet, which is short for Stolen Asset Recovery Network, is a global alliance of independent law firms created to provide financial institutions and governments with multi-disciplinary services across countries and jurisdictions for locating, freezing, and ultimately recovering stolen assets related to cyber heists, fraud or corruption.

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