Cyber attacks are becoming far more common in the financial sector than ever before. News reports indicate that two of Russia’s largest banks have been hit by cyber attacks, although details are still hard to come by. Both Sberbank and Alfa Bank have noticed a disruption of their services, which stems forth from ongoing denial of service attacks against both institutions.
Hackers Target Some of Russia’s Largest Banks
These are very tough months for the financial sector, as they are under attack from all sides. Not only is there the cyber threat to take into consideration, but there is also fierce competition from other service providers. Consumers have new demands and want innovation, an issue that banks have been struggling with for quite some time already.
For both Sberbank and Alfa Bank, denial of service attacks is causing a lot of issues for their services. Customers were having difficulties accessing mobile and online banking, although the situation seems to be under control for now. It is the first time that Russian banks have been the target of these types of attacks in 2016.
Ever since Joe Biden mentioned that there would be repercussions for earlier attempts by Russian hackers to disrupt US services, Russia has been on high alert. For now, it remains to be seen whether or not American state-sponsored hackers are behind this attack, or whether this is a domestic issue.
Both Russian banks are investigating the matter internally. Additionally, Kaspersky Labs has been unable to come up with any new information. It is not the first time that DDoS attacks have been executed against Russian banks, although the year 2016 has been rather quiet on that front. Thankfully, both banks have the proper infrastructure in place, which negates the majority of these attacks.
That being said, the DDoS attacks have been quite relentless so far. Sberbank came under attack on Tuesday and was still experiencing a flood of traffic on Thursday afternoon. From what their engineers could tell, it appears that botnets are flooding the network with HTTP requests. It is possible that these botnets are similar to Mirai, but that has not been officially confirmed.
As far as Alfa Bank is concerned, they only suffered from a minor denial of service attack on Tuesday, which did not disrupt business as usual in any significant way. There is no obvious correlation between the two financial institutions, which makes it harder to determine why these two banks were targeted specifically.
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