FBI alert on malware attacks on ATM starts with a cyber attack on India

Last week, FBI of the United States issued an alert to all large banks operating in Britain saying that hackers could launch concerted global malware attack to withdraw money from free to use ATMs from this month end. It seems that the attack has already started with the cyberattack on a bank operating in India.

Sources reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders from Reuters say that a group of cyber crooks launched a cyber attack on India’s Cosmos Bank to steal nearly 94 crores or $13.5 million through simultaneous withdrawals across 28 countries over the weekend.

The Indian co-operative bank issued a statement a few hours ago saying that unidentified hackers stole customer info through a malware attack on the banks ATM server, withdrawing 804 million rupees or $13.5 million via 14,965 transactions in just over 5 hours on August 11th,2018.

Readers have to notify a fact over here that approx. Rs 78 Crore transactions were from overseas withdrawals and this includes over 12K visa Card transactions. And over Rs. 2.5 Crore withdrawals were done from the ATM withdrawals from the Indian sub-continent.

On the condition of anonymity, a source from Cosmos bank said that hackers also transferred 13.94 crores or 139 million rupees to an account in the Hang Seng Bank based in Hong-Kong via SWIFT global payments network on an additional note.

Milind Kale, the Chairman of Cosmos Bank said that the cyber attack was launched by a multinational cybercrime group operating from 22 nations and added in his statement that none of the fraudulent transactions have been debited from any of the customer’s accounts.

SWIFT banking system who deals with trillions of international dollar transactions on a daily note did not wish to comment on this note. However, it stated that the 3 transactions were canceled and the money will be diverted back to the bank of origin.

In general, the main banking server supervises all online payment requests via a switching system.

But a spokesperson from Cosmos bank of Pune, Mumbai, India said that a proxy switch was created by hackers in the said malware attack just a day earlier. And all the fraudulent payment approvals were endorsed by the proxy switching system in order to bypass the international banking servers.

Security analysts say that the malware attack was fully orchestrated and mimics the alert issued by FBI last week.

Note- In the year 2016, a similar attack on Bangladesh’s central bank’s account made hackers steal $81 million via Federal Reserve Bank of New York resources. Hardly any progress was witnessed in the investigation of this case.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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