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Anonymous Attacks Spanish Government Sites

Hacktivist group Anonymous has been firing up its DDoS cannon again, this time aiming it at Spanish government websites, in support of Catalan independence. The group claimed to have taken offline the website of the constitutional court, which ruled the Catalonian referendum illegal last week. It also defaced the website of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Transport with a “Free Catalonia” message. A statement from the group had the following: “In the name of all the Catalan independence and democracy, Anonymous Catalonia asks all the Anons of the world who are in favour of the freedom of expression […] and peaceful dialogue to persist in the #FreeCatalonia operation until 29 October 2017.” Various accounts associated with the disparate group have been tweeting messages with #opCatalunya and #FreeCatalonia, claiming “big attacks are coming”, although the government sites in question appear to be back to normal now. “We wish to state that the Catalan people’s desire to express their will via a referendum is the majority view and cuts across all strata of society and is in keeping with the civic, peaceful and democratic determination expressed in the multitudinous demonstrations held by organised society in favour of its right to decide,” noted another Anonymous branded video. Stephanie Weagle, VP at Corero Network Security, argued that DDoS attacks continue to function as an effective disrupter of businesses and in some cases help to distract IT teams while information is stolen. “In order to effectively protect their networks, prevent disruptions to customer operations, and better protect against service outages, downtime and potential data theft, companies need real-time visibility and mitigation of all DDoS attack traffic targeting their networks, regardless of size or duration,” she added. “Traditional security infrastructure will not stand up to these service interrupting attacks—a dedicated layer of DDoS mitigation is required to eliminate the DDoS threat. Source: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/anonymous-attacks-spanish/

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Anonymous Attacks Spanish Government Sites

CERT issues cyber attack warning for India

Malware Reaper is acquiring internet-connected devices for coordinated attack, say State Cyber Police Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cyber Department is in the process of issuing a State-wide advisory outlining steps to prevent potential targets from falling prey after the New Delhi-based Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said it has received intelligence inputs about a massive cyber attack on several countries, including India. The CERT is the country’s central cyber security agency. Maharashtra Cyber Police officers confirmed to The Hindu that the attack would be similar to the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that hit the State last year. In July 2016, The Hindu had reported how small and medium Internet Service Providers were under attack from unknown parties, who were pinging their servers incessantly to the point where the servers crashed, denying service to their clients and causing loss of revenue. According to sources, the imminent DDOS attack, which is believed to be on a much larger scale, is being readied using malware known by two names, Reaper and IoTroop, and is currently taking over thousands of machines connected to the internet to be used for a synchronised attack on the target servers. Maharashtra IG (Cyber) Brijesh Singh said, “Mirai had acquired five lakh devices. The Reaper malware has already affected two million devices worldwide, and is acquiring 10,000 devices per day. It seems to be targeting CCTV camera systems and Digital Video Recorders connected to the internet.” Bot attack A Cyber Police officer said, “It’s difficult to say at this point exactly who the targets are, but we have enough information to indicate that machines connected to the internet, including cell phones, laptops, CCTV cameras and other devices, are susceptible. A large number of such machines are being hacked and turned into bots as we speak. Our cyber intelligence network indicates a lot of abnormal behaviour on the internet, consistent with hacking of devices.” A bot, or robot, is an automated programme. In this kind of cyber attack, hackers use malware to infect devices to turn them into bots that do their bidding. Sources said the perpetrators of Reaper are currently creating a huge network of bots, called a botnet in cyberspeak. In October 2016, a malware known as Mirai had executed multiple DDOs attacks on servers of Dyn, a leading domain name service provider, affecting several popular websites including Twitter, Netflix and Reddit. Cyber Police officers said Reaper is amassing bots on a much larger scale than Mirai. “Once the botnet is ready as per the perpetrators’ requirements, they simply have to command the bots to ping servers of the target all at once, resulting in a server crash. Depending on the size of the company or industry targeted, it will result in massive losses of revenue.” A possible way to execute the attack would be that the bots are pre-programmed to strike on a particular day. This possibility is also being probed, officers said. Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput, Maharashtra Cyber Police, confirmed that intelligence inputs about Reaper have been received. “We are working on the information and will soon be coming out with an advisory regarding the same.” Source: Malware Reaper is acquiring internet-connected devices for coordinated attack, say State Cyber Police Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cyber Department is in the process of issuing a State-wide advisory outlining steps to prevent potential targets from falling prey after the New Delhi-based Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said it has received intelligence inputs about a massive cyber attack on several countries, including India. The CERT is the country’s central cyber security agency. Maharashtra Cyber Police officers confirmed to The Hindu that the attack would be similar to the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that hit the State last year. In July 2016, The Hindu had reported how small and medium Internet Service Providers were under attack from unknown parties, who were pinging their servers incessantly to the point where the servers crashed, denying service to their clients and causing loss of revenue. According to sources, the imminent DDOS attack, which is believed to be on a much larger scale, is being readied using malware known by two names, Reaper and IoTroop, and is currently taking over thousands of machines connected to the internet to be used for a synchronised attack on the target servers. Maharashtra IG (Cyber) Brijesh Singh said, “Mirai had acquired five lakh devices. The Reaper malware has already affected two million devices worldwide, and is acquiring 10,000 devices per day. It seems to be targeting CCTV camera systems and Digital Video Recorders connected to the internet.” Bot attack A Cyber Police officer said, “It’s difficult to say at this point exactly who the targets are, but we have enough information to indicate that machines connected to the internet, including cell phones, laptops, CCTV cameras and other devices, are susceptible. A large number of such machines are being hacked and turned into bots as we speak. Our cyber intelligence network indicates a lot of abnormal behaviour on the internet, consistent with hacking of devices.” A bot, or robot, is an automated programme. In this kind of cyber attack, hackers use malware to infect devices to turn them into bots that do their bidding. Sources said the perpetrators of Reaper are currently creating a huge network of bots, called a botnet in cyberspeak. In October 2016, a malware known as Mirai had executed multiple DDOs attacks on servers of Dyn, a leading domain name service provider, affecting several popular websites including Twitter, Netflix and Reddit. Cyber Police officers said Reaper is amassing bots on a much larger scale than Mirai. “Once the botnet is ready as per the perpetrators’ requirements, they simply have to command the bots to ping servers of the target all at once, resulting in a server crash. Depending on the size of the company or industry targeted, it will result in massive losses of revenue.” A possible way to execute the attack would be that the bots are pre-programmed to strike on a particular day. This possibility is also being probed, officers said. Superintendent of Police Balsing Rajput, Maharashtra Cyber Police, confirmed that intelligence inputs about Reaper have been received. “We are working on the information and will soon be coming out with an advisory regarding the same.” Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/cert-issues-cyber-attack-warning-for-india/article19920037.ece

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CERT issues cyber attack warning for India

DDoS Attack Pulls Down Bitcoin Gold Website

Ever since the initiation of the hard-fork resulting into a new cryptocurrency – Bitcoin Gold (BTG) – from the bitcoin blockchain, the BTG website has been constantly under DDoS attacks and has not resumed operations ever since. Earlier in the day, a new hard fork in the Bitcoin blockchain network gave rise to a new cryptocurrency Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and ever since then the official website has been constantly under DDoS attacks. This new hard-fork which resulted into a derivative cryptocurrency of the popular Bitcoin, has been aimed for establishing a fair platform different from the Bitcoin network which is alleged to have been dominated by large companies. The existing bitcoin mining process requires high-end powerful computing hardware which is quite a lot expensive and certainly not affordable to ordinary miners. As a result the mining process is said to have got centralised into the hands of large companies. With Bitcoin Gold, the miners aim to democratise the mining process by bringing Bitcoin’s inherent value proposition of having a decentralised mode of operation. The first step of the Bitcoin Gold initiation was to take a “snapshot” of the bitcoin blockchain while creating a replica with new set of rules. Moreover, the BTG technical team has decided to release the cryptocurrency absolutely free for all those who are holding bitcoins at the time of fork. Soon after the process was initiated the BTG developer team had started reporting issues pertaining to DDoS attacks on the website. And even hours after the initiation process the attacks seem to have stopped nowhere denying enthusiasts to keep any track of the newly generated BTG cryptocurrency. Adding to the woes, the additional fact is that the new blockchain hasn’t turned public yet and the explorer and tracking tools have not been released yet. Owing to the controversial and divisive nature of cryptocurrency projects such as the Bitcoin Gold, the denial-of-service attacks have been a common phenomenon in occurrence. Jack Liao, LightningAsic CEO, who is said to be the brain behind the BTG’s creation has been quite vocal and critical about the existing mining process of Bitcoins targeting several companies which are profiting from the mining process. His open criticism could possibly be a reason for such attacks. However, in addition to this, there are other reasons attributed to the cause of criticism for Bitcoin Gold. Few developer channels are quite skeptical about BTG using a process in which the BTG will be privately created before being publicly available as an open-source project. Another cause of concern with the Bitcoin Gold is that it has not solved the risk of a “replay attack” which could possibly increase transaction complications when two completely incompatible version of the bitcoin blockchain will be unable to distinguish from each other. At the press time Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is trading at $262, according to the CoinMarketCap Index. The price of Bitcoin (BTC) took a slight hit after the hard fork, losing more than $300 of its all-time max value of  $6,000 per-coin. The Bitcoin Gold is still in the development process and we have yet to hear any official from its developer technical team regarding the future plans and its modus operandi. Source: https://www.coinspeaker.com/2017/10/24/ddos-attack-pulls-bitcoin-gold-website/

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DDoS Attack Pulls Down Bitcoin Gold Website

Czech Parliamentary Election Websites Hit by Cyberattacks

The Czech statistical office has reported DDoS (Distrubuted Denial of Service) attacks on websites related to the recent parliamentary elections during the vote count. A number of websites of the Czech statistical office (CZSO) have been subject to cyberattacks during the counting of votes in the Czech parliament’s lower house election, Petra Bacova, the CZSO spokeswoman, told Sputnik Sunday. “The websites related to the parliamentary elections — volby.cz and volbyhned.cz — have temporary failed to function due to DDoS attacks [Distributed Denial of Service] during the vote count on Saturday. These attacks have not affected the overall progress of the election,” Bacova said. The police along with the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency have already launched an investigation into the attacks. “Thanks to the rapid response, the attacks on the both aforementioned servers have been neutralized, while the work of the websites has been resumed,” Bacova said. The Czech Republic held an election to the lower house of the parliament on Friday-Saturday. The centrist ANO political party won the election, receiving 29.64 percent of votes. Czech President Milos Zeman stated that he was ready to appoint Andrej Babis, ANO’s leader, as Czech prime minister. Source: https://sputniknews.com/europe/201710231058456317-czech-election-hit-cyberattack/

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Czech Parliamentary Election Websites Hit by Cyberattacks

Android malware on Google Play grows botnets, launches DDoS attacks

The Sockbot malware has made its way into at least eight Apps in the Google Play Store with the intent of adding devices to botnets and performing DDoS attacks. Symantec researchers said the malicious apps have each been downloaded between 600,000 and 2.6 million times respectively and has primarily targeted users in the United States although infections have been spotted in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, and Germany, according to an Oct 18 blog post. One of the malicious apps poses as an app that will allow users to modify their Minecraft characters. The app uses a SOCKS proxy mechanism and is commanded to connect to an ad server and launch ad requests. “This highly flexible proxy topology could easily be extended to take advantage of a number of network-based vulnerabilities, and could potentially span security boundaries,” the post said. “In addition to enabling arbitrary network attacks, the large footprint of this infection could also be leveraged to mount a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.” Researchers contacted Google Play on Oct. 6 and the malicious apps have since been removed from the store. To prevent downloading similar malicious apps users should keep software updated, refrain from downloading apps from unfamiliar sites, only install apps from trusted sources, and pay close attention to the permissions requested by an app. Users should also install mobile security apps and make frequent backups of data. Source: https://www.scmagazine.com/sockbot-malware-adds-devices-to-botnets-executes-ddos-attacks/article/701189/

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Android malware on Google Play grows botnets, launches DDoS attacks

DOSarrest releases new API

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  Internet Security announced today that they have released a new Application Programming Interface(API) for their latest generation of Internet Security Services Software, enabling NSPs, ISPs and Security as a Service companies to directly access any and all of DOSarrest’s cloud based Security Services. This allows any organization to integrate into their existing customer portals any of DOSarrest’s services which include DDoS protection, CDN, best of breed WAF, global load balancing as well as any future services on their aggressive roadmap. Some of the features of the API allow subscribers to auto provision, dynamically spin up/down instances and capacity as required and pick and choose whatever components they need from DOSarrest’s numerous DDoS and WAF elements. This is a new “restful” API, making integration as easy as it gets. Subscribers can also leverage DOSarrest’s Big data analytics engine to manipulate and display logging data as they see fit. Brian Mohammed Director of Sales and Marketing states, “We have had many enquiries from large telcos, especially in Europe, who like and want our service but need an API. We listened and here it is.” Mohammed adds, “This allows virtually anyone to use our services to ensure their customers’ websites are secure from any attack be it large volumetric or a small sophisticated layer 7 attack, all the while it looks like it’s their own service, on-demand.” Mark Teolis, CEO of DOSarrest explains, “We are also willing to build a custom portal for companies that don’t have an in house programming staff to use the new API; why not use our in house development group to help you make it?”  In addition, Teolis states, “Once you subscribe to the new API you will have access to all future services, and there are some good ones on the way.” About DOSarrest Internet Security: DOSarrest founded in 2007 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada is one of only a couple of companies worldwide to specialize in only cloud based DDoS protection services.  Additional Web security services offered are Cloud based W eb A pplication F irewall (WAF) , V ulnerability T esting and O ptimization (VTO) , DataCenter Defender – GRE as well as cloud based global load balancing . Source: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/10/17/1148970/0/en/DOSarrest-releases-new-API.html

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DOSarrest releases new API

400 attacks per day: Behind Australia’s growing DDoS attack surface

There is no denying that the number of DDoS attacks has been increasing everywhere around the world, new variants of attacking tools and techniques have been made available to the attackers much faster than we have seen in the past. Based on the statistics we have collected for Australia, the number of DDoS attacks have been increased roughly 25% each year, and we believe that number could become around 30,000 attacks per month by end of 2020. The largest DDoS attack targeting Australia in 2017 is around 228 Gbps in June, although these kinds of multi-gigabit attacks always catch our attention, they don’t really happen very often. Almost 80% of the DDoS attacks seen in Australia are under 2 Gbps, but still could possibly overwhelm the bandwidth of the internet connection for a lot of enterprises. Another interesting observation is that the number of DDoS attacks between 10 to 50 Gbps has been steadily increasing from last year. Given the fact that the attackers are getting more weapons in their arsenal – for example, IoT and mobile devices, this means the size and frequency of the DDoS attacks will keep growing. When we look at the countries where most of the DDoS attacks were being sourced, we have observed that countries such as the US, China, Korea, UK and Germany are usually at the top of the list. As DDoS attacks are typically sourced from infected computer devices (notnets), countries with a high computer population may also have a high infected rate, particularly if pirated software is being used to a large extent in that country. In recent years, with the arrival of IoT botnets, such as Mirai, some Asian countries with a high deployment rate of IoT devices have also been seen as major sources of DDoS attacks. If we turn our focus from the source country to the destination country being attacked most often, we then find the countries which are on the top of the list of the attacking sources, are also high on the list for the receiving side. A possible reason could be that the high computer population and adoption rate in the country also means a lot of business is being conducted over the network, such as the financial sector, consumer sector, government and so on, giving the attackers more targets to aim for. Source: https://securitybrief.com.au/story/400-attacks-day-behind-australias-growing-ddos-attack-surface/

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400 attacks per day: Behind Australia’s growing DDoS attack surface

What is cyber terrorism?

How is cyber terrorism defined and how likely is an attack? Everyone is familiar with what “terrorism” means, but when we stick the word “cyber” in front of it, things get a bit more nebulous. Whereas the effects of real-world terrorism are both obvious and destructive, those of cyber terrorism are often hidden to those who aren’t directly affected. Also, those effects are more likely to be disruptive than destructive, although this isn’t always the case. Cyber terrorism incidents One of the earliest examples of cyber terrorism is a 1996 attack on an ISP in Massachusetts. Cited by Edward Maggio of the New York Institute of Technology and the authors of Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 2 , a hacker allegedly associated with the white supremacist movement in the US broke into his Massachusetts-based ISP after it prevented him from sending out a worldwide racist message under its name. The individual deleted some records and temporarily disabled the ISP’s services, leaving the threat “you have yet to see true electronic terrorism. This is a promise” While this is a clear example of a cyber-terrorist incident carried out by a malicious, politically motivated individual that caused both disruption and damage, other frequently listed examples fit less clearly into the category of “terrorism”. For example, while attacks that have taken out emergency services call centres or air-traffic control could be considered cyber terrorism, the motivation of the individuals is often unclear. If a person caused real-life disruption to these systems, but had no particular motivation other than mischief, would they be classed as a terrorist? Perhaps not. Similarly, cyber protests such as those that occurred in 1999 during the Kosovo against NATO’s bombing campaign in the country or website defacements and DDoS attacks are arguably online versions of traditional protests, rather than terrorism. Additionally, in the case of civil war, if one side commits a cyber attack against the other then it can be said to be more of an act of war – or cyber war – than one of cyber terror. Again, where there is a cold war between nations, associated cyber attacks could be thought of as sub-conflict level skirmishes. Indeed, the FBI defines cyber terrorism as “[any] premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems or computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents”. Under this definition, very few of the tens-of-thousands of cyber attacks carried out every year would count as cyber terrorism. The future of cyber terrorism As the number of connected devices increases, the likelihood of a more destructive cyber terrorist incident – something on a par with an attack in the physical world – becomes increasingly possible. The security industry is full of stories and proofs of concept about hacking medical devices, with two particularly famous demonstrations being given by New Zealander Barnaby Jack. This opens up the possibility for targeted assassinations or mass-scale killings carried out remotely and potentially across borders. Similarly, there are concerns self-driving vehicles could be turned into remote-controlled missiles and used in an attack, although the counter argument is that such vehicles will make the roads safer in the face of terrorists driving conventional vehicles into crowds. Another possible style of cyber terrorism is disruption of infrastructure in a way that could potentially endanger life. For example, in 2016 an unknown actor caused a disruption that saw two apartment buildings in Finland lost hot water and heating for a week in the dead of winter. In locations as cold as Finland, actions like this could cause illness and death if widespread and sustained. Nevertheless, the likelihood is most serious cyber attacks will be acts of cyber warfare, rather than cyber terrorism, as nation states have larger and more sophisticated resources at hand. Source: http://www.itpro.co.uk/security/29726/what-is-cyber-terrorism

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What is cyber terrorism?

More than half of businesses fell victim to DDoS attacks in the past year, survey shows

CDNeworks research shows 54% of businesses were hit by distributed denial of service attacks in the last year, and many feel they are underinvesting in cyber defences. More than half of businesses (54%) have been victims of successful distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks over the past 12 months, according to research from cloud security firm CDNetworks. The company surveyed 305 organisations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland about the technologies that protect them from cyber attacks. Some 83% of the respondents felt either confident or very confident about their cyber defences, but 44% felt they were currently underinvesting in anti-DDoS technologies. Chris Townsley, Emea director for CDNetworks, told Computer Weekly that this mix of opinions was strange. “Not only is there widespread complacency – the overwhelming confidence in DDoS protection, undermined by the high proportion of businesses suffering successful attacks – but there is also a significant number of businesses that are worried that they have not invested enough,” he said. “It is odd to see so much confidence alongside such doubt about whether enough is being done.” The survey also found that 64% of organisations said they would be investing more in such technology over the next year, and in terms of expectation of an attack, 79% rated the likelihood of an attack as between “likely” and “almost certain”. This attitude is reflected in the frequency of incidents, with 86% saying they had suffered a DDoS attack in the previous 12 months. The size of attacks is also growing. In the first half of 2015, the largest DDoS attack recorded was 21Gbps, but during the equivalent period in 2016, it was 58.8Gbps. Also, 31% of attacks in the first half of 2016 were 50Gbps or more, but there were no attacks of that size in the first half of 2015. Townsley added: “As the size of attacks increases, businesses need to look more at protection from the edge and not at the origin or datacentre. “As the size of traffic increases, so does the likelihood that the bandwidth of the origin server will be saturated, no matter what protection is in place to keep it up and functioning. “Also, with the frequency of attacks increasing, businesses should move to a mindset of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ an attack will occur.” When asked whether the number of successful attacks was due to businesses buying the wrong security products, Townsley said: “It could be that the type of protection was not suitable, or was suitable for some types of attack but not all. As the types of attack are changing all the time, products can become obsolete.” Source: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450428288/More-than-half-of-businesses-fell-victim-to-DDoS-attacks-in-the-past-year-survey-shows

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More than half of businesses fell victim to DDoS attacks in the past year, survey shows

Cybersecurity: into the data breach

Cybersecurity has become a significant issue as attacks are increasing. In the new payments ecosystem, where third-party developers can directly interact with banks’ customers, data privacy and security become paramount, according to the World Payments Report 2017 by Capgemini and BNP Paribas . A significant issue to address as the new payments ecosystem evolves is that of cybersecurity. During the past few years, cyberattacks and crimes have increased across the globe, with corporate and financial institution entities, large and small, targeted. The price of increasing collaboration among industry stakeholders in the new payments ecosystem could be an increase in cyber security vulnerabilities. To alleviate this risk, corporates are increasingly turning to their banks for advice on how to strengthen their infrastructures against cyber attacks. To ensure the highest levels of cybersecurity and the security of infrastructures in the new payments ecosystem, each stakeholder must assess security across all the data sources and points of collaboration. The need for robust cyber security solutions to cater to all forms of cyberthreats has never been greater for corporate treasurers as new technologies proliferate and collaboration increases. Of prime importance for corporates in developing defence mechanisms is awareness of potential cyber security risks, regular updating of security profiles and continuous training of employees. This is because attacks perpetrated by cybercriminals are unpredictable in both timing and nature. The vulnerabilities stakeholders face include cyber security, data privacy, data breaches, and payments fraud. The utmost vigilance is required to protect organisations against cyber attacks and all stakeholders, including regulators, must be more proactive regarding cybersecurity, with ownership of the issue taken to prevent attacks. In the new payments ecosystem, third-party developers can directly interact with a partner banks’ customers, raising questions about data privacy and security. In an increasingly networked ecosystem, identifying the source of attack will be a challenge. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report found that security incidents and data breaches affect both large and small financial organisations almost equally. However, the security of larger banks is difficult to compromise as they invest more in cyber security solutions. Smaller banks, which do not have the same access to resources, are more prone to cyberattacks. A fraud survey by the Association for Financial Professionals and JP Morgan found that the highest levels of fraud in 2016 were perpetrated via cheques. However, there was a surge in wire transfer fraud, from 27 per cent in 2014 to 46 per cent in 2016. An increasing number of cyber security breaches are causing significant losses for banks and corporates across the world. Among recent incidents, in February 2016, a cyberheist at Bangladesh Central Bank resulted in a loss of $81 million and prevented another $850 million worth of transactions from being processed on the Swift network. Similarly, in May 2016 cybercriminals hacked the Swift system and stole $9 million from Ecuadorian bank Banco del Austro. In May 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack affected more than 150 countries and 200,000 computers, as attackers demanded each of those affected to pay up to $300 worth of bitcoins to unlock their systems. In a survey for World Payments Report , bank executives ranked distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and customer payments fraud as the main security challenges they face. Also of concern were the high levels of card fraud, which place a significant cost burden on banks. The increasing adoption of digital offerings in transaction banking is also giving rise to higher levels of payments fraud, making cyber security a top priority for banks and corporates. Customer payments fraud is the top ranked concern for financial technology companies and other survey respondents. This group is much less likely to view DDoS attacks as a threat; data breaches due to hacking attacks was of more concern, as was internal fraud. While banks are investing significantly in cybersecurity solutions, there are still many risks at the corporate level that they cannot manage. Corporates must, therefore, step up their own efforts to manage cybersecurity risk and not leave it all to the banks. They should upgrade their internal systems, train their staff, and review their partners’ systems. The idea of a cyberattacker as a lone figure hacking into systems is now obsolete. Cyberattacks are perpetrated by entities that are set up like companies, with project managers, key performance indicators and operations. Attacks to compromise corporates and banks are designed to be multi-staged, with two main objectives: commercial gain and industry espionage. In general, the funds received via attacks go into the coffers of the organisation, while the intelligence gained during an attack will be used by perpetrators to gain a business advantage. Attacks can happen at any time, and over time, therefore all corporates should be vigilant and on constant guard against attacks. So serious are the growing cyberattack and data breach problems that regulators across the globe should move from their present reactive approach to a more proactive one. Stringent regulations and fines to strengthen cybersecurity laws are required from regulators. Many regulations related to this are, however, still in the inception stage. Europe has relatively the most mature cybersecurity and data privacy laws, with recent initiatives including the Electronic Identification and Trusted Service which was launched in 2016. Effective cybersecurity requires organisations to efficiently and quickly identify, mitigate and manage cyber risks and incidents. All stakeholders are taking measures to strengthen the security of transactions against potential cyber threats. Banks and other stakeholders have three options available to them: collaborating with financial technology companies, making investments in advanced technologies and monitoring tools, and strengthening internal governance to ensure seamless compliance. Collaboration with fintechs This is occurring in several areas including secure authentication and authorisation, account onboarding, identity verification and anti-money laundering. Examples include India’s Yes Bank and FortyTwoLabs’ development of multi-factor authentication tool PI-Control, which enables users to apply for internet banking access, pay bills, transfer funds, seek loans, make remittances and undertake other card transactions. Rabobank in the Netherlands is working with Signicat to provide digital identity solutions that can be easily integrated using API technology. As banks increasingly collaborate with fintechs and regtechs, due diligence, adherence to industry standards and participating in the development of new industry standards has become critical. Investment in advanced technologies and monitoring tools Blockchain technology is still in a nascent stage, with its potential as an enabler of digital identity and payment transaction security still being tested. Banks can leverage the technology to differentiate themselves in the provision of digital identity, authentication and know your customer services. Banks are investing in projects that combine advanced cryptography that supports private or permitted use of blockchain technology with transaction security elements that provider greater transaction visibility. To ensure the highest levels of cybersecurity and transaction security, all the ecosystem participants must assess security from multiple sources in the network. Common security standards and protocols when developing and investing in new technologies and monitoring tools will be increasingly important as collaboration increases. With a common network governing the interfaces between banks and third-party providers, various groups are developing network-based security standards to ensure a secure environment is built around the dynamic payments ecosystem. The ability to respond to cyber threats or attacks in real-time is hampered by legacy security systems. Traditional security monitoring typically identified and reacted to cyber threats in isolation. A modern approach identifies specific unusual patterns or behaviour and alerts operational teams to anomalous activity. Advanced machine learning algorithms are the logical next step as response mechanisms in the event of a threat. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are being piloted globally, yet legal issues regarding accountability for the actions of such systems persist. Contextualisation of threats (linking the threat to the business and not just to technology) is needed to identify the source and understand the objective behind any attack. Another useful approach is risk-based authentication (RBA) to detect the risk profile of transaction banks and retailers. Using RBA and analytics processes, banks can create a threat matrix of fraud profiles to triangulate the threat instances to their origin and be able to proactively block fraudulent traffic. Behavioural analytics, AI, machine learning and threat matrix can help to continuously monitor the ecosystem network and provide threat intelligence. Banks can undertake various activities such as continuously checking all systems for possible threats, observing markets, scenario simulation, examination of previous attacks, monitoring activities and applications, and establishing a payments control centre to permanently monitor payments and identify exceptional situations. Robust internal governance A robust governance model and standards are imperative for seamless functioning of the new payments ecosystem. Banks and treasurers need to interact with central authorities and regulators to share feedback, which in turn will help to improve compliance. Banks and treasurers are increasingly collaborating with regtechs to ensure compliance. Industry stakeholders must establish common data, technical, legal, functional, and security standards for robust governance. Firms will be well served if they can ensure that security systems have multiple layers to withstand ‘flood’ attacks. To ensure a foolproof system, firms should identify the data needs of all stakeholders before finalising the controls to put in place. With the onset of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in the EU, the focus on compliance with data privacy and security has increased. Firms must install a dedicated team to continuously review and update security policies. Additionally, stakeholders should work with the local regulatory authorities to understand the complexity of different regional legal requirements and expectations for each country. Firms must ensure mandatory data privacy and security training is conducted at regular intervals. Educating employees on potential threats and ensuring they keep their systems updated would have prevented, or greatly reduced the impact of, events such as the WannaCry ransomware attack. Source: http://www.bankingtech.com/1019032/cybersecurity-into-the-data-breach/

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Cybersecurity: into the data breach