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Private Briefingwith WILLIAM PATALON III, Executive Editor
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If you haven't yet been the victim of a cybersecurity attack, you might be soon depending on what bank you use.
Computer security firm McAfee issued a report yesterday (Thursday) alleging a "massive cyberattack" was being planned for next spring.
According to CNNMoney, a gang of criminals headed by a Russian cyber mafia chief known as NSD had developed a powerful "Trojan Horse" program designed to take money out of victims' bank accounts and channel it into their own.
The plan, called "Project Blitzkrieg," was aimed at 30 U.S. financial institutions, including online payment company PayPal, and was based on a malware program that would clone an account holder's computer to make it look like the accounts were being accessed from the owner's home computer, avoiding security questions that would deny the criminals access to the accounts. The idea was to then access thousands of accounts simultaneously to take out small amounts of cash from each one that would total millions of dollars.
Project Blitzkrieg first came to light when notices were posted on hacker Websites looking for hackers to join the group planning the attack. They offered a share of the loot for service.
Once the plan was discovered, it seems to have "gone dark."
It is impossible to know if Project Blitzkrieg has been cancelled or whether it is proceeding under much tighter security but security companies, including McAfee, have been working with banks to bolster their security.
In September, an Iranian hacker group calling itself Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam announced it would launch a "distributed denial of service" (DDoS) attack on major U.S. banks.
Even though the group had announced the attack in advance, major banks, including Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), US Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC) found their Websites flooding with junk data, preventing their customers from accessing their accounts and conducting business. Some banks were unable to use their Websites for a few hours, others, for an entire day.
The Cyber Fighters announced new attacks to take place this week.
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