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Notorious Russian hackers target Nigerian banks, others, says report

Ugo Onwuaso

Feb. 14, 2020

A cartel of notorious Russian hackers is now attempting to hack their way into banks in the country and some other countries on the continent.
Kaspersky, multinational cybersecurity firm, in its recent findings, said that these attacks touched down in the region’s banking sector in January 2020.
The ongoing threat is reported to be in its final stage of operation after which it will cash out funds.
Kaspersky fingered the Silence Group, an undercover team of hackers with intentions to cart away huge sums of money.
Sergey Golovanov, security researcher at Kaspersky, declined to disclose the name of the banks that are being targeted.
That makes sense since protecting their privacy and preventing further incursions are priorities.
But Sergey did tell WeeTracker any malicious attack could end up being very costly to these banks.
“In some cases, the score sometimes reaches millions of dollars,” he said.
The Silence Group is not a new cult in town.
They have been in the hacking neighborhood long enough to develop some of the most efficient tactics there are.
On the back of being one of the most active Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors around the world, they have been able to successfully orchestrate a number of bank-focused campaigns.
According to McKinsey, In terms of size, Africa’s current banking market is approximately USD 86 Bn in revenues before risk cost. The projected growth for the continent’s banking-revenue pools of 8.5 percent a year between 2017 and 2022 will bring the total USD 129 Bn.
Group-IB – a Singapore-based cybersecurity firm – said that the Silence Group is substantially expanding its geography. The group, reportedly Russian, has stolen funds now estimated at USD 4.2 Mn.
Most of the attacks have been outside Africa, but there’s an obvious reason the group is now making inroads – the region has less cybersecurity investments.
A 2019 Silence 2.0: Going Global report identified that Silence has made a number of changes to its TTPs and enhanced its arsenal, as a result of being in the spotlight of security researchers for some time now.
Until recently, the group’s activity appears to have been mainly confined to Russia and some countries within the so-called CIS or SF2, a group of former Soviet Union states that include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
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