U.S. Banks Warned of Cyberattack on Accounts
The U.S. financial services industry has issued a warning that a Russian cyber-gangster is preparing to rob American banks and their customers of millions of dollars.
In addition, the computer security firm McAfee has reported that the cyber-criminal, who calls himself “Thief-in-Law,” already has infected the hundreds of computers of unwitting American customers in preparation to steal their bank account data.
The warning was issued Thursday by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), which shares information throughout the financial sector about terrorist and online threats, said Douglas Johnson, vice president for risk management at the American Bankers Association.
“FS-ISAC has sent out several notices warning about this gentleman,” Mr. Johnson told The Washington Times.
According to McAfee, Thief-in-Law has installed malicious software programs, known as “malware,” on hundreds of computers as part of his plan, dubbed “Project Blitzkrieg.” The malware steals passwords and login information, which hackers can use to drain victims’ bank accounts online.
“McAfee Labs believes that Project Blitzkrieg is a credible threat to the financial industry and appears to be moving forward as planned,” a company report states.
The report’s author, Ryan Sherstobitoff, told The Times that a “pilot program” that apparently ended in October had infected as many as 500 computers in the U.S. About 120 additional computers were infected in a follow-up campaign that ended in November, he said.
“Project Blitzkrieg is an active operation,” Mr. Sherstobitoff said.