How hackers pulled off the biggest bank robbery in history

According to internet security company, Kaspersky Labs, cyber-bandits may have pulled off the biggest bank robbery in history. As many asĀ 100 financial institutions in 30 countries were struck in this heist and the robbers never even had to walk through the doors.

In an article in the New York Times, the managing director of Kaspersky North America, Chris Dogget, said that “This is likely the most sophisticated attack the world has seen to date in terms of the tactics and methods that cybercriminals have used to remain covert.”

The gang that pulled this off, called the Carbanak Gang after the malware program they used, are based in Russia, Ukraine, China and parts of Europe. Their targets were European, Japanese, American and Russian banks.

How they managed to pull this heist off was by sending malware emails to bank employees. Once their systems were infected, the cyber-gang was able to record computer keystrokes, take screenshots and control computer systems to learn bank operations.

Once they learned the bank’s procedures, they stole money by transferring money to fraudulent accounts, e-transferring money overseas and even programming ATMs to dispense money at set times.

“Each bank robbery took 2-4 months, from infecting the first computer to cashing the money out,” reported Secure List.

Kaspersky lab reports that it has evidence of at least $300 million being stolen, but the BBC reports that the real number is as high as $1 billion.

If this is the case, then that would make it the largest bank robbery of all-time. Just ahead of Saddam Hussein’s son Qusay, who in 2003 stole $910 million from Iraq’s central bank ahead of the U.S. invasion.

For an in-depth explanation of how they did it. Check out Secure List’s video breakdown above


[New York Times] [Business Insider] [Secure List] [Alamy]