June 29, 2012

Law enforcement officials from around the globe are investigating an online financial crime ring that employs a sophisticated infrastructure of its own transaction servers to steal funds from high-balance bank accounts of businesses and individuals worldwide.

The campaign, dubbed “Operation High Roller” by researchers at McAfee and Guardian Analytics, which today published a report on these attacks occurring around the world, has now spread from Europe to the U.S. and North America and has hit thousands of financial institutions. The targets in the U.S. thus far have been companies with a minimum of several million dollars in their accounts, and all sizes of banks and credit unions are being abused in the attacks.

The thieves appear to have pilfered somewhere between $60- $100 million, and have attempted to steal as $2.5 billion overall so far, according to David Marcus, director of security research at McAfee.

What sets this series of financial fraud attacks apart from traditional online banking fraud is that most of it is fully automated such that an attacker doesn’t even use man-in-the-browser methods to intercept credentials and steal funds, the researchers say



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