Virginian Bank Robbed Two times in Eight Months

July 27, 2018


The dangers of phishing electronic mails and cyber-insurance were laid empty this week after the news appeared of an American bank that fell prey to hackers two times within eight months and is prosecuting its supplier for failing to cover the losses.

The Virginian National Bank of Blacksburg was struck in late May 2016 and once again in January 2017 thanks to phishing electronic mails which ultimately led to the collective thievery of $2.4m.

The first attack allowed attackers to fit malware on a victim’s PC, letting them access the STAR interbank network and deactivate controls including PINs, daily withdrawal restrictions and anti-fraud measures, as per journalist Brian Krebs.

The attackers were then capable to withdraw funds from client accounts of more than half a million dollars to ATMs throughout the country.

The second attack seemingly used a booby-trapped Microsoft Word document to access the bank’s Navigator software, which they utilized to artificially credit different accounts with $2m prior to drawing funds from ATMs in the same way and erasing the proof.

Chandu Ketkar, the main adviser at Synopsys, contended that the breaks came from failures of safety consciousness training, checking controls, emergency reaction, and policy about Office macros.

Ryan Wilk, vice president at NuData Security, added that phishing danger can be alleviated by migrating away from stationary username/password blends.

“This is an obvious instance of why traders and financial organizations are moving past the user’s personally identifiable information (PII) as a method to authenticate them and including multi-layered solutions with inactive biometrics and behavioral analytics,” he added. “These technologies frustrate the reuse of data by swindlers and, in its place, confirm users based on their behavioral information.”

In an additional twist, the bank is now prosecuting its supplier, Everest National Insurance Company, for failing to pay out.

The difficulty lies with the policy particulars: the bank had two kinds of coverage — one “computer and electronic crime” rider with an obligation of $8m and another covering lost, thieved or changed debit cards with only a $50,000 obligation.

The insurer seemingly claims both breaks fall under the latter.

It is one more instance of the trials facing the growing cyber-insurance industry. In July it occurred that safety seller Trustwave is being prosecuted by two underwriters that assert its PCI audits failed to pick up problems which resulted in a huge break at their customer: Heartland Payment Systems.