Federal banking regulators today released a long-awaited supplement to the 2005 guidelines that describe what banks should be doing to protect e-banking customers from hackers and account takeovers. Experts called the updated guidance a step forward, but were divided over whether it would be adequate to protect small to mid-sized businesses against today’s sophisticated online attackers.
The new guidance updates “Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment,” a document released in 2005 by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) for use by bank security examiners. The 2005 guidance has been criticized for being increasingly irrelevant in the face of current threats like the password-stealing ZeuS Trojan, which can defeat many traditional customer-facing online banking authentication and security measures. The financial industry has been expecting the update since December 2010, when a draft version of the guidelines was accidentally leaked.
The document released today (PDF) recognizes the need to protect customers from newer threats, but stops short of endorsing any specific technology or approach. Instead, it calls on banks to conduct more rigorous risk assessments, to monitor customer transactions for suspicious activity, and to work harder to educate customers — particularly businesses — about the risks involved in banking online.
More than half of all sales at the world’s largest rogue Internet pharmacy in the last four years were charged to credit and debit cards issued by the top seven card-issuing banks, new research suggests.
Unlicensed pharmacies create public health risks and confuse consumers who are looking for safe and reliable prescription medicines. Rogue pharma Web sites are primarily advertised with the help of spam, malicious software, and hacked Web sites. Curbing this drug dealing activity would promote both public health and Internet users’ safety.
Recent findings highlight additional levers that policymakers could use to curb sales at rogue online pharmacies, by convincing the card-issuing banks to stop accepting these charges or by enacting legislation similar to that used to squelch online gambling operations.
Russian authorities on Thursday arrested Pavel Vrublevsky, co-founder of ChronoPay, the country’s largest processor of online payments, for allegedly hiring a hacker to attack his company’s rivals. Vrublevsky, 32, is probably best known as the co-owner of the Rx-Promotion rogue… Read More »
Authorities seized computers and servers in the United States and seven other countries this week as part of an ongoing investigation of a hacking gang that stole $72 million by tricking people into buying fake anti-virus products. Police in Ukraine said the thieves fleeced unsuspecting consumers with the help of the infamous Conficker worm, although it remains unclear how big a role the fast-spreading worm played in this crime.
Pavel Vrublevsky, the embattled co-founder of ChronoPay — Russia’s largest online payments processor — has reportedly fled the country after the arrest of a suspect who confessed that he was hired by Vrublevsky to launch a debilitating cyber attack against… Read More »
Ordinary Internet users frequently are scolded for choosing weak, easily-guessed passwords. New research suggests that hackers in the cyber underground are also likely to pick lame passwords for their favorite online forums.
Last month, KrebsOnSecurity was sent a massive database file that the source said was the user database of Antichat.ru, a Russian language hacker forum that has attracted more than 41,000 users since its founding nearly a decade ago. By matching the user names in the database with those listed in the public pages of the forum, I discovered that I’d been given a snapshot of all Antichat user information and private messages prior to June 2010, when Antichat.ru apparently experienced a forum compromise.
The FBI has scrubbed some 19,000 PCs that were infected with the Coreflood bot malware, the agency told a federal court this week. The effort is part of an ongoing and unprecedented legal campaign to tackle one of the longest-running and most menacing online crime machines ever built.
In April, the Justice Department and the FBI were granted unprecedented authority to seize control over a criminal botnet that enslaved millions of computers and to use that power to disable the malicious software on infected PCs. On April 11, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut was granted authority to seize 29 domain names used to control the daily operations of the botnet, and to redirect traffic destined for the control servers to a substitute server that the FBI controlled. More significantly, the FBI was awarded a temporary restraining order (TRO) allowing it to send individual PCs infected with Coreflood a command telling the machines to stop the bot software from running.
I often get emails from people asking if it’s safe to download executable programs from peer-to-peer filesharing networks. I always answer with an emphatic “NO!,” and the warning that pirated software and cracks — programs designed to generate product keys or serial numbers for popular software and games — are almost always bundled with some kind of malware. But I seldom come across more than anecdotal data that backs this up.
Recently, I heard from Alfred Huger, vice president of engineering at Immunet, an anti-virus company recently purchased by Sourcefire. Huger was reaching out to offer feedback on my 3 Rules for Online Safety post. He told me that the rules should have included this warning: Do not download pirated software and cracks from filesharing networks and cracks sites because they are a major source of malware infections.
Comerica Bank is liable for more than a half a million dollars stolen in a 2009 cyber heist against a small business, a Michigan court ruled. Experts say the decision is likely to spur additional lawsuits from other victims that have been closely watching the case.
Judge Patrick J. Duggan found that Dallas-based Comerica failed to act “in good faith” in January 2009, January 2009, when it processed almost 100 wire transfers within a few hours from the account of Experi-Metal Inc. (EMI), a custom metals shop based in Sterling Heights, Mich. The transfers that were not recovered amounted to $560,000.
“A bank dealing fairly with its customer, under these circumstances, would have detected and/or stopped the fraudulent wire activity earlier,” Duggan wrote. Judge Duggan has yet to decide how much Comerica will have to pay.
Microsoft on Tuesday released 16 software updates to fix at least 34 security vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and other software. More than half of the updates address flaws Microsoft rates “critical,” meaning the bugs can be exploited with… Read More »