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Report: Hacking Ring Steals up to $1B from U.S., European Banks

A cybersecurity firm will publish a report on Monday claiming that a Russian cybercrime ring has stolen millions of dollars from Russia, the U.S. and European banks.

The Russian security company Kaspersky Lab says the hackers have been active since at least the end of 2013 and hit at least 100 banks in over 30 countries. It is unclear exactly which banks were affected.

After gaining access to banks’ computers through phishing schemes and other methods, they lurk for months to learn the banks’ systems, taking screen shots and even video of employees using their computers, the company says.

Once the hackers are familiar with the bank’s operations, they “steal money without raising suspicions, programming ATMs to dispense money at specific times or setting up fake accounts and transferring money into them, according to Kaspersky.”

After they clear about $10M, the hackers move onto another bank.

“In this case they are not interested in information. They’re only interested in the money,” he said. “They’re flexible and quite aggressive and use any tool they find useful for doing whatever they want to do.”

The targets so far have been the U.S., Russia, Germany China and the Ukraine.

Some in the U.S. are skeptical of the report. Fox News writes, “U.S. financial services executives and government officials told The Wall Street Journal late Sunday that they were aware of the report. Some government officials told the paper that they were skeptical of the reported amount of money lost at U.S. banks.”

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