Largest Russian banks attacked by unknown hackers

Hackers of yet-unknown origin have carried out a series of attacks on major Russian banks, RIA Novosti reported, citing a source close to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Later the anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab confirmed the news, saying that the attack that began on November 8th and continues for the second day in a row became the first large-scale, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in 2016 aimed at Russian banks.

According to Kaspersky Lab, the hackers attacked the websites of at least five banks included in the top ten financial institutions in Russia. Later this information was confirmed by the press service of Sberbank and Alfa-Bank.

"The attacks are organized with the help of botnets that include tens of thousands of machines, geographically distributed among several dozen countries," explained Sberbank’s press service through a statement received by the RBC agency. Kaspersky Lab clarified that the attacks involved computers from 30 countries, with more than half of the computers located in the United States, India, Taiwan and Israel. The average duration of each attack was about an hour, the longest lasted nearly 12 hours, with the maximum number of requests reaching 660,000 requests per second.

DDoS attacks are external attacks on the bank's system that ultimately can lead to the disruption of financial institutions. The last large-scale series of attacks took place in October 2015 when eight prominent Russian banks were attacked. Overall, from October 2015 until March 2016 the Central Bank recorded 21 cyber-attacks on the payment systems of Russian financial institutions. The culprits attempted to steal 2.87 billion rubles from their accounts.

  Russia, Hackers, banking sector