The number of cyber attacks on financial services more than doubled last year as a study reveals that 67% of financial organisations surveyed have reported an increase in cyber attacks over the past 12 months, while destructive attacks have increased 160% over the past year.
According to Carbon Black and Optiv Security, two cybersecurity firms, the attackers have become more aggressive in their approach and developed a strong will to persist with their campaigns.
"Financial institutions are grappling with some of the most sophisticated cyber crime syndicates," said Tom Kellermann, the report's author and chief cybersecurity officer at Carbon Black. "Perhaps the most concerning indication from this report is the stark increase in destructive attacks, which are rarely conducted for financial gain.
Financial institutions are grappling with some of the most sophisticated cyber crime syndicates"
"Rather, these attacks are launched to be punitive by destroying data. Cybercriminals have formed sophisticated approaches to gain access to confidential banking and financial information and organisations need to be aware of the impending threats."
The most common form of cyber intrusion (79%) are so-called social engineering attacks. The criminal moves through several stages to prepare his attack. First, the victim is assessed in a bid to collect the necessary background information for the attack.
The hackers then contact the victim with the intent of gaining trust and gain access to critical resources.
The most damaging and expensive attacks use trojans called 'Emotet'.
Criminals are attaching 'Emotet' trojans to emails. Once installed on the computer, the trojan proceeds to upload further malware.