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 CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IBMsecuritymalware

More about IDGLanceNews

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Joab Jackson

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place