A Russian hackers group, which specializes in stealing from banks, has shifted its attention to financial institutes across Australia. The established group, known as Silence, has been threatening to launch denial-of-service (DoS) attacks against Australian banks unless a ransom is paid, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). A denial-of-service attack is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily by flooding the servers with traffic.
“The ACSC is aware of a number of DoS for ransom threats being made against Australian organizations, primarily in the banking and finance sector,” ACSC said.”The threats in question are delivered via email and threaten the recipient with a sustained DoS attack unless a sum of the Monero cryptocurrency is paid to the Russian hackers group.”While ACSC has been “unable to verify” the claims of affiliation to Silence, it advised potential victims to prepare for any DoS attack before it occurs.”This sort of incident can be very difficult to respond to once the attack begins,” ACSC said.
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“Well prepared organizations should be able to operate effectively despite these threats and any potential DoS.” If your organization is affected by a DoS attack, ACSC recommends talking to your service provider about its ability to immediately implement any responsive actions. Protective measures include blocking the offending IP address(es), temporarily transferring online services to cloud-based hosting with high bandwidth and content delivery networks that cache non-dynamic websites or engaging a DoS attack mitigation service for the duration of the incident. Silence first emerged in Russia 2016 and has since been broadening its geographical reach and developing new malware to refine its techniques, according to cybersecurity company Group-IB.In this time, the hacking group has believed to have stolen more than A$6.41 million from banks in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.