The Russian state-controlled bank VTB confirmed that its websites had been targeted by a cyber attack. The VTB is the second largest bank in the country.
Fortunately, the defenses of the bank were able to repel the DDoS attack that hit the systems of the VTB bank.
“A DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack was carried out against VTB Group internet sites,” reads a statement issued by the Russian bank.
“Our IT infrastructure is working as normal and the bank’s clients are not experiencing any difficulties.”
Last week the Russian intelligence service FSB revealed that an unnamed foreign power is planning to undermine Russian Banks with cyber attacks and PSYOPS via social media.
According to the Russian intelligence, a group of servers in the Netherlands and leased to the Ukrainian web hosting firm BlazingFast were ready to launch an assault next Monday.
“Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), said that the servers to be used in the alleged cyber attack were located in the Netherlands and registered to a Ukrainian web hosting company called BlazingFast.” reported the Reuters.
“The attack, which was to target major national and provincial banks in several Russian cities, was meant to start on Dec. 5, the FSB said in a statement.”
A few hours after the announcement made by the FSB, the Russian Central Bank confirmed that hackers have stolen 2 billion rubles, roughly 31 million US dollars, from accounts at the Russian central bank.
The Russian authorities haven’t disclosed the identity of the alleged threat actor behind the attack.
The Russian bank industry was recently hit by a string of cyber attacks, a few day ago experts from Kaspersky Lab revealed that at least five of Russia’s largest banks were targeted by massive DDoS attacks.
The attacks were powered by devices located in 30 countries across the world, including the United States.
The Russian Government was accused by Washington of interference in the recent US Presidential Election.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security have issued a joint security statement to accuse the Russian government of a series of intrusions into the networks of US organizations and state election boards involved in the Presidential Election.
“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process” reads the statement.
“We will take action to protect our interests, including in cyberspace, and we will do so at a time and place of our choosing,” a senior administration official told AFP.
“The public should not assume that they will necessarily know what actions have been taken or what actions we will take.”
Two weeks ago, the US Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with NBC explained that “message” would be sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the alleged hacking.
It is a historical declaration, for the first time in a diplomatic context, a member of a government invoke a cyber attack as a deterrent measure.
“Vice President Joe Biden told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that “we’re sending a message” to Putin and that “it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.” reported the NBCnews.
“When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, “Hope not.“”
According to NBC, the CIA was preparing a retaliatory cyber attack “designed to harass and ’embarrass’ the Kremlin leadership.”
Did the US launch a series of cyber attacks against the Russia as retaliation for the alleged interference in its internal affairs?
(Security Affairs – Russian banks, VTB bank)