Lawmakers have been itching to implement far-reaching government Internet controls in the United States for a long time. Now, the Nation’s financial services industry is giving them the boogeyman they need: warnings of a potential threat that Russian “cyber-gangsters” are preparing to rob American banks and their costumers of millions of dollars in the coming year.
Last week the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), an organization that keeps the financial sector abreast of terror and online threats, issued a warning to financial institutions throughout the nation about the most recent threat to Americans’ money online. The organization indicated that a cyber-criminal with the moniker “Thief-in-Law”—loosely translated from the Russian “vorVzakone”— has set into place a system that will allow him to steal the bank account data of hundreds of unwitting Americans.
“FS-ISAC has sent out several notices warning about this gentleman,” Douglas Johnson, vice president for risk management at the American Bankers Association, told The Washington Times.
Experts at the computer security firm MacAfee assert that “Thief-in-Law” and others like him are likely in the process of infecting American computers with malicious software capable of clandestine collection of passwords and other login information that would grant them access to bank accounts.
The plan, dubbed “Project Blitzkrieg,” is described as an active operation; security experts say they detected up to 500 computers with the malicious software in October and as many as 120 more in November.
According to FS-ISAC, the thieves are mostly targeting customers of investment banks, where large balances are more likely.