Enterprise bank accounts targeted in new malware attack

IBM has identified a new targeted attack, called Dyre Wolf, that has already bilked organizations of untold sums of money

How companies are targeted by Dyre Wolf

How companies are targeted by Dyre Wolf

A combination of new malware and old-fashioned social engineering has been used to rob companies of more than US$1 million, according to a new study from IBM.

The attacks, dubbed "Dyre Wolf" by IBM, suggests the work of experienced online criminals brazenly attempting to rip off large organizations.

"As we continue to see, cybercriminals grow in resourcefulness and productivity at alarming rates. They are sharing expertise on a global scale via the deep Web and launching carefully planned, long-term attacks to attain the highest return on investment," wrote John Kuhn, IBM senior threat researcher, in a blog post co-authored with fellow IBM researcher Lance Mueller.

Dyre Wolf uses a variant of Dyre, which is malware written to target the websites of hundreds of banks..

"Since its start in 2014, Dyre has evolved to become simultaneously sophisticated and easy to use, enabling cybercriminals to go for the bigger payout," Kuhn wrote. An organized but as-of-yet unidentified group of attackers also rely on talking to users by phone, in order to bypass the two-factor authentication most organizations have put in place to thwart online attacks

Since October, IBM has seen a spike in the infection rate of Dyre on corporate networks, spiking from 500 instances to nearly 3,500. It estimates that anywhere from $500,000 to $1.5 million has been lost through Dyre-based attacks

IBM posted a paper outlining in detail how the attack works.

A user is tricked into installing the Dyer software on the machine by the usual means, perhaps by clicking on a malicious e-mail attachment.

The installed program remains silent until a user attempts to log onto a bank website recognized by Dyre. At that point, a Web page will pop up explaining the site is experiencing technical difficulties and that the user should call the help center to gain access.

The attackers are sophisticated enough to rig the software so that when the user calls, the attackers answer the phone posing as a representative from the bank. They then trick the user into giving up the password. By the time the phone call is finished, money is already transferred out of the enterprise's account and is rapidly moving across different banks around the globe to evade detection.

IBM has estimated that 95 percent of all corporate attacks rely on some form of human error.

Most employees have already been trained not to click on unknown documents received by e-mail, as well as to not give up passwords over the phone. A single inattentive user, however, could result in the loss of large sums of money.

To guard against Dyre Wolf, security professionals should reinforce company best practices that should already be in place. Employees should be reminded that banks never ask for passwords and that they should report any suspicious behavior. An organization may also wish to carry out mock-attacks to ensure that employees are fully trained on how to handle such incidents, Kuhn said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IBMsecuritymalware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?