Russian central bank reports $17 million losses suffered by financial institutions hit by hacker attacks

13 February 2018

Recent report published by Reuters unveil that Russian financial institutions were victims to heavy cyberattacks with over 1 billion roubles ($17 million) stolen from the banks in the country during the previous year. Hackers allegedly used Cobalt Strike tool designed to test security of the networks, according to the statement made by the Russian central bank this week.

Dmitry Skobelkin, deputy governor of the central bank, reported at the information security conference that 21 attempts of cyberattacks were recorded in 2017 with the use of Cobalt Strike. He noted that over 240 credit institutions in the country were hit by the attackers and 11 of those attempts were successful with the losses totaling more than 1 billion roubles.

Cobalt Strike is a tool specifically developed to check the vulnerabilities in the security systems owned by financial institutions, still, hackers found the way to take advantage of this tool and misuse it for attacking banks in Russia and Europe.

In 2016 the group known as Cobalt successfully hacked ATM machines across several countries installing malicious software for programming cash machines to dispense money. Skobelkin added that the central bank had provided notifications to over 400 entities, which were targets of the Cobalt group in 2017.

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