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Walking into a bank with a ski mask is old fashioned

Swedish bank Nordea was the target of one of the largest online heists.  The bank lost between 7 to 8 million Swedish kronor (a little over $1.1 million USD) in a phishing scam that had been taking place over the last 15 months, according to ZDNET UK.

Officials say the "bank robbers" used phishing emails to lure bank customers into opening emails with attachments entitled "raking.zip" or "raking.exe."  The attachments were disguised as anti-spam software, but contained a Trojan which security companies called "haxdoor.ki."

Close to 250 Nordea customers were taken by the fraud.  It was also said that attacked customers did not have anti-virus software on their computers.  Security officials claim Russian organized criminals are responsible for the heist, with no less than 121 people suspected to be involved.  Even more damning, Swedish police traced computer servers first in the U.S. and then to Russia.

"Haxdoor.ki" is typically know to install keyloggers to record keystrokes, then hides itself using a rootkit.  When users attempted to activate their Nordea accounts online, the Trojan automatically responded by bringing the customer to a fake bank homepage. 

When the customers entered their personal information, including bank numbers and passwords, the website would load to an error page claiming that the site was having technical difficulties.  The criminals then used the gathered information on the real bank page and withdrew funds from customer accounts.

Nordea claimed it knew that a few of the transactions had been false due to the unusual activity under the accounts, but a majority of the transactions had been small withdrawal amounts, therefore making it difficult to identify real transactions from the fraudulent ones.  Nordea spokesman Boo Ehlin claimed that most of the fraudulent cases were small amounts that the company thought were ordinary.

Currently, a police investigation is underway and the bank is reviewing its security procedures.



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don't blame the customer, Nordea should know better
By tim c on 1/22/2007 11:21:00 AM , Rating: 2
I am familiar with two online banking sites,( and have some experience of others). One is incredibly vulnerable, the other is messy but has become extremely secure. It might that be that banks are so obsessed with compliance & profits that they no longer have any professional pride in their work. The keypad loggers can easily be overcome by an onscreen virtual pad for passwords; it is prudent to have a "site last accessed at hh/mm/dd/mm/yy" on the statement page. And guess what: if banking federations and watchdogs were to collate statistics for phishing, they just might identify the substandard websites (clue:the UK is wide open). There are loads of other security ideas, but let's allow the software people to make some $$$
PS found this site via google news




By fic2 on 1/22/2007 11:38:20 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. I had one bank that when I called to verify something they asked for my online password. I asked if they could see this in plain text. The answer was yes. I closed the account. What dumb*ss system allows someone to see the plaintext password?


By vdig on 1/22/2007 2:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
That... sounds way too easy. Far and away too easy.

Anybody and everybody likes the concept of an easy buck or a million. Those who are unethical have way more options, though.

Quit making this scam sound easy. We don't need more people joining the criminals in the phish pond. Tough enough to repel them as is.


By frobizzle on 1/23/2007 8:39:39 AM , Rating: 2
How secure or insecure a site is would have no bearing in this particular case. These customers did the single most dangerous thing they could do - open an email attachment of questionable origin - and from that point on, the bank could be using 512 bit mega-encryption and it wouldn't matter. The customer's PC was compromised! All bets were off at that point.
So, to get back to the title of this thread, I do nlame the customer.


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