Financial institutions in ‘Dyre’ straits

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 24, 2015


India sixth most targeted by malware attacks: Symantec

There seems to be no respite from attacks by hackers. After the Gameover Zeus, Ramnit, and Shylock attacks, the financial institutions across the world are now exposed to Dyre, the new financial Trojan.

Unlike in other scams, hackers are strictly adhering to a five-day week, taking off on Saturdays and Sundays. And, in order to clear the backlogs they work more on Mondays. Cyber security experts say India has emerged a top target after the rich countries such as the US and the UK.

Key targets

Besides financial institutions, firms using electronic payment services and sites related to human resources have also become targets for the hackers. As they make financial gains, hackers are also downloading malware into the compromised systems, making slaves in their extensive botnets (networks of PCs that have become slaves).

Internet security solutions firm Symantec said India is ranked sixth globally and second in Asia in the list of Dyre infections, whichhas defrauded customers of more than 1,000 banks and other companies worldwide.

“We have seen an increase in targeted attacks aimed at the BFSI sector in India that went up to 17.1 per cent in 2014, from 11.1 per cent in 2013,” a Symantec expert said.

Modus operandi

The Dyre attackers’ main infection vector is spam emails. These emails are simple in structure and usually masquerade as business documents, voicemail, or fax messages. Each email comes with an attachment or web link to a malware-hosting site. If the victim is lured into opening the attachment or link, the Upatre downloader is installed on their computer.

The expert has asked PC users and institutions to keep their systems updated with relevant software updates. When they update with patches, they address the newly-found vulnerabilities. Hackers generally find these vulnerabilities to slither into the PCs.

Published on June 24, 2015
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