Decisive Battles in War between Criminals and Bankers

Colleagues will laugh at a criminal planning an armed bank robbery. True robbers are freelancers – they work remotely.

Today, own technology practices allow banks not to lose to cyber-criminals in most cases. However, malefactors constantly improve criminal methods. There is nothing left for banks but to integrate in order to create a united front of opposition to cyber-crimes.

Handgun Robbery is out of Date
An average person, thanks to film stamps, imagines a bank robbery as follows. Somebody armed with a gun rushes into an operational hall of a bank and demands to put all cash in a bag.
In life, such cases still happen nowadays. “We have a directive – in case of an armed attack we shall not resist and should give out all money. Employees lives are much more expensive,” tells Marina Chubrina, Vice-Chairman of the Northwest bank of Sberbank of Russia.
Increasingly not guns but complex technical tools are used to plunder banks. For instance, all social networks recently were flown by a piece on a night robbery of an ATM in a closed store in Perm. At first, criminals by means of a plexiglas tube and liquid nitrogen bypassed the alarm system of the store. Further on, they built a reinforced polyethylene film framework around the ATM to disconnect it from the IP network. ATM was cracked by gas welding, and in order to avoid actuation of the fire alarm, they arranged an aluminum ventilation sleeve with a built-in pump at the “work site”…
Anyway, it is not obligatory for criminals to invent similar shifts to become rich. It is much easier to take control, for example, of somebody’s passport and obtain a credit using it.

Swindlers, Go Home!
However, in the short term the fraudulent scheme with use of stolen documents will come to naught.
Technoserv company, one of the leading Russian system integrators, and the largest in the country National Bureau of Credit Histories have completed testing of domestic recognition technology. The technology will be implemented within the interbank service of counteraction to credit frauds.
It is intended for biometric identification using photographic image and scan of a document with the photo of a bank client.
To be precise, up to now a similar system in Russia has been used only in several banks. In particular, the staff of Sberbank has to make photographs of all applicants for a credit. Now more than 700 banks and about 2000 microfinancial institutions over the country will begin to apply the technology.
“Credit frauds slow down market development: in 2013 creditors lost about 80 billion rubles,” as noted Alexander Vikulin, CEO of NBCH. “The market requires a sector infrastructure providing operational check of borrowers by analysis of scanned documents and photographic images at a point of submission of requests”.
Initially, the IT infrastructure of NBCH will process more than 100,000 requests per day, but capacities allow to increase this number up to 400,000 estimates per second.
Furthermore, the system of photographic image analysis incorporates 10 scenarios of checks. It reads and digitizes biometric parameters: face shape, space between eyes etc. Besides, the technology is able to recognize a make-up. However, developers promise that complete check of request will take three seconds at most.

At the ATM Front
Concurrently, Russia's fight against skimming intensifies. Let us recollect, this term means an illegal receipt of information from bankcards by means of special readers. Criminals install the device (skimmer) on an ATM and copy information from a magnetic strip of bank card: name of the holder, number of the card, date of card termination, CVV and CVC codes.
To be more specific, bank security services have already more or less learned to catch groups of malefactors involved in skimming. First of all, it is due to video surveillance.
But according to Sberbank data, last year only 6 out of 20 thousand revealed skimming violations were brought to court. The reason is imperfection of the legislation.
In return, the Bank of Russia has developed a draft law, which shall allow imposing criminal liability for use and installation of skimming equipment. Besides, a similar law has been prepared by the Government of the Russian Federation and now undergoes readings at the State Duma.
Meanwhile, criminals improve enrichment methods. So, specialists of Kaspersky Lab revealed the Backdoor.MSIL.Tyupkin program which infects ATMs. Next, the program forces an ATM to issue 40 banknotes in certain time according to the password entered on the pin pad of the device. Moreover, such “operation” can be performed even every day.

Direction of the Main Blow
Nevertheless, the most widespread method of bank and its client’s robberies is phishing, which is swindling of confidential data from users.
According to the research of Gemalto company, the number of mass violations of data confidentiality (loss of data, theft of data, etc.), which became known by results of the last year, exceeds 1500 worldwide that is 78% more as compared to 2013.
Experts of Gemalto see a new trend. In the long run, theft of personal data becomes a main goal of cyber-criminals instead of a direct theft of credit card numbers and other billing information.
“Sometimes viruses resemble a true artificial intelligence,” notes Sergey Alin, senior analyst of Nord Capital Group. “They can mask, learn, adopt. Generally, they complicate people's lives as much as possible. Cyber-criminals not always get money unnoticed away. Occasionally, they, for example, can steal compromising photos (or other information) and demand a ransom for them. Fortunately, the antivirus software also made a big leap forward in recent years”.
Meanwhile, non-standard decisions for phishing are also popular. Therefore, in the course of recent joint investigation, Kaspersky Lab, Europol and Interpol exposed an unprecedented criminal operation when malefactors stole one billion dollars.
The criminal group Carbanak found a way to get into computer of one of bank employees. Following the infection of the machine criminals gained access to the internal network of the bank, found computers of monetary transactions systems administrators and arranged video surveillance over their screens. Study of personnel’s habits helped them afterwards not to raise suspicions during money transfer to fraudulent accounts. Thus, the Carbanak group had been robbing banks for two years. It took them two to four months to “serve” a bank.

It is possible to expect that soon local triumphs of bank community in fight against cyber-criminals will occur more often. Now the Bank of Russia works on creation of core management. It will accumulate data on cyber-crimes from all Russian financial institutions, notify market participants about the threats and transfer information to the Administration “K” of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to carry out investigations. Development of recommendations aimed at repelling of hacker attacks and fraud attempts shall become another task for the department.
Therefore, though there are no explicit winners in eternal opposition of swindlers and banks, there are quite worthy achievements in the field of data safety improvement and information security.

Kirill Averyanov