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Ofer Israeli, CEO of Illusive Networks

The Banco de Chile is the latest victim in a string of cyber attacks targeting payment transfer systems and in a similar vein to the recent Mexico heist, hackers wreaked havoc on their banking operations. The KillDisk virus is believed to have infiltrated a large part of the bank’s 9000 computers and 500 servers, wiping hard drives and leaving them in a non-rebootable state.

A report by Trend Micro connected this incident and a recent attempt by hackers to steal over $110 million from Bancomext.

“Our analysis indicates that the attack was used only as a distraction,” Trend Micro said. “The end goal was to access the systems connected to the bank’s local Swift network.”

Eduardo Ebensperger, Banco de Chile said that four fraudulent transactions were carried out during the incident: “We found some strange transactions in the Swift system,” he says. “Then we realised that the virus was not necessarily the underlying issue, but apparently wanted to defraud the bank.”

The KillDisk virus is believed to have infiltrated a large part of the bank’s 9,000 computers and 500 servers, wiping hard drives and leaving them in a non-rebootable state.

Ofer Israeli, CEO of Illusive Networks, believes the Lazarus Group, one of the most notorious band of cybercriminals, is behind this, using a variant of their highly complex KillDisk malware to distract attention from their key target.

Israeli said: “Targeting financial organisations is part of their long-term strategy and compromising global financial networks via small to medium-sized banks in Central and South America whose cyber defenses may be less sophisticated poses a higher probability of success. The next Bangladesh heist is imminent unless the entire financial ecosystem does its utmost to minimise the attack surface and proactively detect attacks on the entry points.Illusive’s intelligence-driven approach to cyber defense to stop targeted attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats is deployed by 8 out of the top 30 global banks.

Following the Bangladesh heist in 2016, they were the first cybersecurity company to launch a solution to specifically protect SWIFT and other wire transfer systems from cyber attacks.

 

by Bill Boyle
IBS Intelligence Senior Editor
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