Banks and Bullseyes

July, 23, 2014 Franklyn Jones

It's probably not good to be a bank right now. Actually, it's probably not good to have money in a bank right now either.

A couple of recent news items indicate that banks and other financial services organizations have become a favorite target for cyber attacks in 2014. For example, in IBM's recently published 2014 CyberSecurity Intelligent Index, the company noted that Finance and Insurance organizations moved up to the top slot as the #1 target for cyber attacks. Yeah, that's comforting.

The report also notes that one of the incentives for cyber attackers is that each stolen credit card puts $25-100 in their pockets. That doesn't seem like much, but based on the number of cards stolen, the report estimates that these attacks might have generated $11 billion in cyber-robbing revenue in 2013. OK, that's real money.

But wait, it could get worse in 2014. This week Kaspersky Labs published information on an exciting new piece of banking malware now available on the Russian black market. It's called Kronos and it comes with a hefty price tag of $7,000. The price may seem steep, but according to the promotional claims, the malware has been thoroughly tested, bypasses all detection (including sandboxes), and uses encrypted command-and-control capabilities. The price even includes updates and bug fixes.

According to Kaspersky, "Kronos does what most banking Trojans do: steals credentials and uses Web injects made for every major browser to modify legitimate banking websites." Did you note that? The target is your web browser – every major browser. Good thing you have endpoint security, right?

Maybe not. Shortly after learning about Kronos, I also stumbled across a new survey report from Promisec, which examined the state of endpoint security defenses in the enterprise (which, in theory, should prevent browser-borne malware like Kronos). To sum up the findings of the survey, IT organizations are deeply concerned about endpoint vulnerabilities, they've lost faith in current detection technologies, and they are fearful of being attacked.

All of this news validates Gartner's recent recommendation (reported in my last blog) that it is time to implement isolation technology as a viable solution to keep all browser-borne malware off endpoint devices and outside the corporate network.

If you're ready to learn more about that option, we invite you to check out AirGap from Spikes Security. It's a field-proven solution that effectively isolates all browser malware – even Kronos, while safely restoring web freedom for businesses.

Franklyn Jones, CMO, Spikes Security

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