Russian Central Bank Loses US$31m In Cyber Heist

The Russian Central Bank had some sad news to report, as they have been the victim of a cyber heist. To be more precise, a total of over 2 billion rubles – worth US$31m – has been stolen during the attack. Thankfully, the theft was not entirely successful as criminals initially tried to steal over twice that amount.

Major Russian Central Bank Heist Confirmed

It is not the first, nor the last time that a bank will get hacked. In this day and age of cyber crime lackluster IT infrastructure and horrible security precautions by financial institutions, it is only a matter of time until the next heist happens. For the Russian Central Bank, that has already happened, although criminals were not entirely successful in their attempt.

To be more specific, the central bank has been targeted by cyber criminals looking to steal nearly 5 billion rubles. That attempt was not successful, even though they succeeded in transferring just under half the intended sum. With US$31m worth of rubles missing, the central bank has a lot of figuring out to do in the coming weeks.

Preliminary investigation results indicate that the hackers had managed to fake a client’s credentials. It remains unknown how this is possible to begin with, although it seems plausible that a social engineering attack was used in the past. Another possibility is that this theft could be an inside job, although it is too early to tell if that is the case.

The news about this attack is not entirely surprising, although it is still a troublesome development, to say the least. Governments around the world have been advocating banks to step up their cyber security measures, but doing so is a lengthy process. It requires funding, time, and extra human resources, which are not exactly commitments that most banks are willing to make right now.

It is also not the first time that a major cyber heist has occurred in the financial world. The central bank of Bangladesh lost quite a bit of money earlier this year. It is the first time that Russia’s central bank has been successfully breached for such a large amount, though. So far, it is unknown where the money ended up, or if it can be returned to the rightful owners.

What is rather intriguing is how Russia has allegedly uncovered a plot by foreign spy agencies, who look to cause chaos in the country’s banking system. Using a series of various cyber attacks and fake social media reports, that goal should be achieved with relative ease. Unfortunately, this heist is not a hoax or fabricated story, as far as we can tell.

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