McAfee and Guardian Analytics have uncovered a highly sophisticated, multi-tiered, global financial fraud ring. So far, McAfee estimates the criminals have attempted somewhere between €60 million and €2 billion in fraudulent transfers from at least 60 banks.
“We need to remember that criminals are agnostic when it comes to the colour of money. This latest series of coordinated, highly automated attacks moves quickly through multiple continents, scale easily and suggests collaboration across multiple criminal specialists. The size and resources of the bank does not seem to matter either: global banks, regional banks, credit unions have all been impacted and targeted,” said Michael Sentonas, Chief Technology Officer – Asia Pacific, McAfee.
This fraud empire, dubbed Operation High Roller, has reached banking systems worldwide, and is comprised of at least a dozen groups that use active and passive automated transfer systems to steal high value transactions from high balance accounts. The Operation High Roller attacks have impacted thousands of every class of financial institution: credit union, large global bank and regional bank, using smaller and less detectable automated transactions. Operation High Roller Report available for download here.
Alastair MacGibbon, Director, Centre for Internet Safety, University of Canberra says “The fraudsters’ objective in these attacks is to siphon large amounts from high balance accounts, and this campaign indicates that cybercriminals are evolving and becoming increasingly scalable. The success of these attacks is reliant on several factors – and therefore there are several chokepoints: the end point needs to be compromised (phishing), bank monitoring systems need to be fooled, and crooks still need to extract money from mule accounts.”
A PDF report is available for download now, explaining the techniques used and showing a breakdown by country