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Online Bank Robbers Steal as Much as $1 Billion, Says Kaspersky

(Bloomberg) -- A hacker group has stolen as much as $1 billion from banks and other financial companies worldwide since 2013 in an “unprecedented cyber-robbery,” according to computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

The gang targeted as many as 100 banks, e-payment systems and other financial institutions in 30 countries including the U.S, China and European nations, stealing as much as $10 million in each raid, Kaspersky Lab, Russia’s largest maker of antivirus software, said in a report. The Carbanak gang members came from Russia, China, Ukraine and other parts of Europe, and they are still active, it said.

The criminals infected bank employees’ computers with Carbanak malware, which then spread to internal networks and enabled video surveillance of staff. That let fraudsters mimic employee activity to transfer and steal money, according to Kaspersky Lab, which said it has been working with Interpol, Europol and other authorities to uncover the plot.

“These bank heists were surprising because it made no difference to the criminals what software the banks were using,” said Sergey Golovanov, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab’s global research and analysis team. “It was a very slick and professional cyber-robbery.” More...

02-15-2015 16:29

Cellphone 'kill switch' leads to sharp declines in theft

It was announced Tuesday that international efforts to implement “kill switches” in all smart phones, which allow mobiles to be turned off remotely, have led to major declines in the crime in three major cities.

“Kill switches” in smart phones, which allow mobile devices to be locked down remotely, have led to a sharp decline in theft in three major cities, according to authorities.

After Apple added the metaphorical switch in 2013, iPhone thefts dropped by 50 percent in London, 40 percent in San Francisco, and 25 percent in New York. More...

02-13-2015 19:47

White House renews effort on cybersecurity bill with new proposal

In the wake of the hack at Sony Pictures Entertainment and other prominent data breaches, the White House tried Tuesday to jump-start the effort to pass cybersecurity legislation by unveiling an updated proposal aimed at ironing out major sticking points in a long-stalled effort.

The new push is part of a week of White House announcements highlighting new technology and security policy initiatives for the new year. With announcements on data security, information sharing and broadband access, President Obama is trying to strike some contrast with the new Republican leadership on Capitol Hill — while also suggesting a few areas of compromise.

"Cyberthreats are an urgent and growing danger," Obama said Tuesday in remarks in suburban Washington at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, which helps coordinate electronic communications among the government, the intelligence community and law enforcement.

He said that the move toward putting the nation's infrastructure online makes the issue of cybersecruity "a growing public safety and public health" concern. More...

01-13-2015 21:33