Australia’s banks targeted by ‘DoS for ransom’ threat – Finance – Security

Nancy J. Delong

Australian banks are being qualified by a team threatening to launch denial-of-provider assaults except if a ransom is paid, the Australian Cyber Security Centre states.

The campaign is being waged by attackers declaring to be from Silence, a Russian-speaking state-of-the-art persistent threat (APT) team that generally targets banks and monetary institutions.

The ACSC explained it experienced been “unable to verify” the claims of affiliation.

The centre did advise, however, that multiple threats experienced been not too long ago obtained.

“The ACSC is mindful of a number of DoS for ransom threats being designed from Australian organisations, generally in the banking and finance sector,” it explained on Tuesday night.

“The threats in issue are sent via e-mail, and threaten the recipient with a sustained DoS assault except if a sum of the Monero cryptocurrency is paid.”

The centre explained it experienced so much obtained “no stories of the threats eventuating in DoS”.

In addition, it explained it is “aware of a number of DoS threats designed in the previous from Australian organisations that did not eventuate.”

Silence has been thoroughly researched by the Singaporean cybersecurity firm Group-IB, which explained in August previous year that the team experienced “significantly expanded their geography and amplified the frequency of their attacks”.

Silence initially qualified “post-Soviet states and neighbouring countries”, according to Group-IB, with Asia appearing to be specially eye-catching.

The team made use of phishing emails to infect victims, but also made use of e-mail strategies to exam the validity of e-mail addresses and to “get information and facts about the cybersecurity answers made use of by a qualified business all the whilst remaining undetected,” Group-IB explained.

But Rustam Mirkasymov, the head of dynamic investigation within Group-IB’s malware division, explained to iTnews that ransom denial-of-provider assaults “are not the regular modus operandi of the team.”

“Silence normally carry out assaults on ATMs or via card processing,” Mirkasymov explained.

“Additionally, even nevertheless the geographical scope of Silence’s assaults have amplified substantially, in particular in Asia Pacific, we have not witnessed their traces in Australia.

“Thus, possessing been tracking Silence APT for nearly 4 yrs now, Group-IB Threat intelligence workforce assesses with significant self esteem that it’s very not likely that the gang was powering the new wave of ransom denial-of-provider (RDoS) strategies detected in Australia.”

Mirkasymov explained it was not the very first time the names of APTs like Silence experienced been made use of to intimidate victims.

“For illustration, in October 2019 we detected a significant e-mail campaign spreading comparable ransom requires to banks and monetary organisations across the phrase.

“The attackers – posing as infamous Extravagant Bear – threatened to launch a DDoS assault if a ransom was not paid.”

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