Tag Archive for: Bank

Programmer finds ridiculous ATM loophole that let him withdraw ₦377 million in cash

It sounds like something straight out of a movie: an unsatisfied bank programmer discovers the perfect scheme for making an ATM spit out free money.

But apparently, this story is true: The South China Morning Postand China’s Daily Economic News report that 43-year-old Qin Qisheng managed to withdraw over 7 million yuan (upwards of ₦377 million) from ATMs operated by his employer, Huaxia Bank — all by exploiting a crazy loophole.

According to the reports, the bank’s system didn’t properly record withdrawals made around midnight — effectively spitting out cash without removing the total from a user’s account. Normally, that might send up a red flag that a transaction had failed, but Qisheng allegedly inserted scripts into the system that suppressed those alerts.

Qisheng started pulling out money in November 2016, but it wasn’t until January 2018, some 1,358 withdrawals later, that the bank discovered the bad code in its system and brought him to the authorities.

Perhaps the most surprising part of this story: the bank didn’t want to keep pressing charges once he’d returned the money. Maybe fearing the bad publicity (apparently the loophole has already been fixed), Huaxia Bank reportedly asked police to drop the case — reportedly accepting Qisheng’s explanation that he was merely testing the bank’s security and was holding onto the money for the bank to reclaim. As one does.

The courts refused, though, and Qisheng is now looking at 10 and a half years in prison after losing his appeal. They didn’t buy the argument, considering that he’d moved the money to his personal bank account, instead of the bank’s dummy account, and had apparently been investing some in the stock market, too.

The Verge

Watch out: These phishing emails claiming to be a ‘secure message’ from your bank

Cyber criminals are faking secure messages from banks as a means of delivering malware to victims.

Often provided through an online portal, banks often provide secure messaging services for the purposes of communicating with the bank without having to pick up the phone or visit the a branch.

Hackers have realised that this provides a new method of attack and are now crafting spoof emails claiming to contain documentation relating to secure messages.

The sorts of clients who opt to use these secure messaging services are often high-value targets who already have a trusting online relationship with their bank – so could be more willing to follow instructions they get in an email from scammers that they believe to be real.

Criminals are registering domains that appear to look like legitimate bank domains and the fact they’re fake goes unnoticed because users don’t know how to spot an imposter or their email client doesn’t show the full domain in the subject line.

Uncovered by security researchers at Barracuda Networks, the campaign uses phishing emails to impersonate customers of big banks including Bank of America and TD Commercial banking.

The spoof messages are designed in such a way so as to look legitimate, even featuring sender addresses which look as if they come from the institution.

In some instances, the messages simply ask the victim to click on and download and attached document. However, others keep up the façade of being ‘secure’ – some emails provide instructions about using an authorization code to ‘unlock’ the attachment.

The malicious payload within is able to rewrite the files in the users’ directory on Windows machines once the victim opens the document – and this script can potentially missed by anti-virus software, thrown off the scent because they think the document is benign.

However, once downloaded onto the system, criminals have access to it and can update the script at a later date to become something more malicious, such as credential stealing malware – enabling them to stealthily gain access to the bank account of the victim – or something more brazen like ransomware.

Faking email messages might seem like a basic attack, but criminals are deploying this tactic because it works – especially when trusted institutions such as banks are used.

However, the good news is that users can be trained to spot phishing attacks – taking a step back and assessing the legitimacy of an email can go a long way towards protecting an individual or their organisation from falling victim to hackers.


Hacking Group Claims N.S.A. Infiltrated Mideast Banking System

For the past few months, an elite hacking group calling itself the Shadow Brokers has sporadically leaked sensitive data from the National Security Agency. On Friday, just when its leaks had appeared to slow, the group released what appears to be its most damaging leak so far: a trove of highly classified hacking tools used to break into various Microsoft systems, along with what it said was evidence that the N.S.A. had infiltrated the backbone of the Middle East’s banking infrastructure.

The timing of the leaks coincides with the United States’ recent shift in policy in Syria, which has escalated the conflict with the Syrian government’s main backer, Russia. The Shadow Brokers wrote in broken English in an online post, which cited the American missile attack on a Syrian air base among other reasons for the leak, that after a hiatus, it had returned to leaking because it was upset that President Trump was abandoning “the peoples who getting you elected.”

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Global Surveilance: North Korea Hackers Target Nigerian Banks

A new report from a Russian online cyber security firm, Kaspersky, has observed that North Korean hackers are attacking banks in 18 countries, including Nigeria.

The organisation noted in its report that this could be regarded as the biggest bank heists in world history.

Banks and security researchers have previously identified four similar cyber-heists attempted on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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