Cyber Crime & Online Security

Cyber Crime, Hacking The Banks

History, from man’s beginnings , is littered with a class that would double-deal, con, deceive, cheat or any other heading which is actually robbery, as surely as Bonnie and Clyde committed it, using the most sophisticated and state-of-the-art weapons and vehicles of their day.

Today’s bank robber probably has pretty much the same mind-set, but far, far different methods of committing the crime.

The free-bird of the Internet is endlessly misused for committing crimes over cyber-space. The hackers (a modern term for potential fraudsters and robbers) committing cyber- crime will often target banks and their systems, as the most obvious source of finances.

Today’s banking technology security is constantly evolving, and, therefore so are the cyber crime experts who would hack into the system.

There are many ways a computer could be attacked, the easiest and perhaps most common is to send an E-mail to the online bank users’ machine, containing a PDF or other attachment with malicious software embedded within it.

When the user innocently opens the attachment, it downloads the software onto the computer. These malicious programs are known as Trojans.

Instead of sending a direct E-mail attachment, the hackers may also use official looking emails to try to entice the online bank user to click on links within their innocent looking email and then to visit websites which are actually controlled by them, which automatically attack the users’ machine.

Sending these emails is known as Phishing and is an increasingly common access route for hackers.

These mirror websites look just like your banks website, but when you try to log in, the hackers harvest your log in details, allowing them to go straight to your real bank website and to log in there, pretend to be you and to transfer your money.

Cyber criminals are often highly skilled, and could be operating from virtually anywhere, regardless of country or even continent.

It’s never been more important for big business to use the latest resilient firewall technology to protect not only themselves but their customers too.

The latest bank robbing plot uncovered in the UK this year, was a whole new stage in cyber crime evolution, with the banks themselves seen as the targets rather than the end users.

The cyber criminals were gaining entry through the false email ruse to bank employees systems, infecting it with malware allowing the hackers access to the banks network.

They could then enter an overseer’s computer thus giving video coverage of the screens of staff operating the transfer systems, so being in a position to copy the processes which move money around.

Each robbery was patiently prepared for over a period of time, with the malware picking up and transmitting information to the hackers for several months from first entering the bank’s network to being able to transfer tens of millions of pounds to mule accounts in singe transactions.

In the fast moving world of cyber technology, data risk security is a concern that is not going to go away, and companies have to recognise the two different disciplines of information technology and information security.