As described earlier in a previous post, these are essentially proxy groups with state backing. They create a group that allows for plausible deniability, showing no attributable activity.
A security firm is warning that a group of Russian hackers known for targeting military, government and media organizations is now preparing to attack banks in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The group’s preparations, which have included writing new malware, registering domain names similar to those of intended targets, and setting up command-and-control servers, were discovered by analysts from security firm Root9B.
The group has been active since at least 2007 and is known by various names including APT28 and Pawn Storm. Several security vendors believe it operates out of Russia and has possible ties to that country’s intelligence agencies.
The Root9B analysts came across a phishing domain at the end of April that was similar to that of a Middle Eastern financial institution, according to a report published Tuesday. When they dug deeper they uncovered new Sofacy malware samples and servers and domains that were being set up by the group for an upcoming operation.
Based on the information gathered so far, Root9B believes the group’s planned targets include Commercial Bank International in the UAE, Bank of America, TD Canada Trust, the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), United Bank for Africa, Regions Bank, and possibly Commerzbank.
Full article: Russian cyber group seen preparing to attack banks (PCWorld)