Massive cyber attack plan exposed - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Massive cyber attack plan exposed

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Amarillo, TX - An international network of computer hackers had been planning to infiltrate American banks, according to a recent report.  But as scary as that sounds, your personal security is probably not at much risk.

"Project Blitzkrieg" was a plot to steal information and money from American bank accounts over a long period of time.

Earlier today, the security firm McAfee released a report concluding the plan could have worked if it hadn't been found out.

The project was started by two Russian cyber-criminals about a year ago, one of whom is a high-profile cyber mafia leader.

The two recruited other hackers to help them carry out a massive cyberattack on 30 U.S. banks.

"There's a credible threat to the financial industry with the size of the botnet he's got deployed and the capabilities of stealing the user credentials for their banking accounts," says Solutionary research analyst Jeremy Scott.

The plan was to gain access to bank accounts, and take money in a series of relatively small transactions over time, to avoid detection.

But given enough accounts and enough time, the thieves could collectively steal millions of dollars.

"The more successful criminals out there have continued to do smaller transactions over time as opposed to one big huge move," explains Scott, "things like PayPal - anything that can move money, it's sitting there watching for you logging in so that they can steal those credentials."

The plan was already in a testing phase when it was discovered - at least three hundred bank accounts in the U.S. had been hacked.

Of course, since the plan has been discovered, it can't succeed - but more plans like it are sure to follow.

Financial institutions are regular targets of cyber attacks, and so most have their own security systems and plenty of experience dealing with cyber security.

You can protect yourself by keeping a close eye on your accounts, and having a good working relationship with your bank.

If you'd like to learn more about Project Blitzkrieg or read the security report for yourself, follow the links attached to this story.