N Korean hack­ers emp­ty­ing mil­lions from ATMs in Asia, Africa: Sy­man­tec

■ North Korea-based in­fa­mous hack­ing group Lazarus first breaches tar­geted banks’ net­works and com­pro­mises the switch ap­pli­ca­tion servers han­dling ATM trans­ac­tions to make the fraud­u­lent with­drawals ■ It was not clear yet if ATMs in In­dia were also af­fec

The Hitavada - - 2ND FRONT -

NORTH Korea-based in­fa­mous hack­ing group Lazarus is es­ti­mated to have stolen tens of mil­lions of dol­lars from ATMs from banks in Asia and Africa, a new re­port from cy­ber se­cu­rity firm Sy­man­tec has re­vealed.

Sy­man­tec’s re­search team has un­cov­ered the key com­po­nent used in the group’s re­cent wave of fi­nan­cial at­tacks.

The op­er­a­tion, known as “FASTCash”, en­abled Lazarus to fraud­u­lently empty ATMs of cash.

To make the fraud­u­lent with­drawals, Lazarus first breaches tar­geted banks’ net­works and com­pro­mises the switch ap­pli­ca­tion servers han­dling ATM trans­ac­tions, Sy­man­tec said in a state­ment late on Thurs­day.

It was not clear yet if ATM’s in In­dia were also af­fected.

“On Oc­to­ber 2, 2018, an alert was is­sued by US-CERT, the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, the Depart­ment of the Trea­sury, and the FBI. Ac­cord­ing to this new alert, Hid­den Co­bra (the US Gov­ern­ment’s code name for Lazarus) has been con­duct­ing “FASTCash” at­tacks, steal­ing money from Au­to­mated Teller Ma­chines (ATMs) from banks in Asia and Africa since at least 2016,” said Sy­man­tec.

Lazarus is a hack­ing group which has been linked to a string of at­tacks against ev­ery­thing from banks to Gov­ern­ment agen­cies across the world, in­clud­ing the 2014 at­tack on Sony Pic­tures.

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