Steal $1 Billion


Many cyber-thieves target bank and business networks in a bid to steal data and cash.

16 February 2015 BBC News


gang claim worldwide
estimate security steal/stole/stolen
target include cooperate
exploit underline investigate
note trend vulnerable
avoid maximize malice/malicious
dub infect as a result
enable transfer surveillance
dispense account (2) pre-determined
slick average principal
share alert principle
brief prevent appropriate
hack detect minimize


Financial Institutions

Up to 100 financial institutions worldwide have been attacked by a gang of “cyber-robbers”, claims a new report by computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

As a result an estimated $1billion have been stolen, beginning in 2013.

The attackers had targeted banks and other financial firms in 30 countries including Canada, China, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and the US.

Interpol and Europol

Kaspersky is cooperating with Interpol and Europol in the investigation.

“These attacks again underline the fact that criminals will exploit any vulnerability in any system,” said Sanjay Virmani, director of Interpol’s digital crime centre.

Viruses and Malware

Kaspersky noted a new trend in cyber robbery where “malicious users steal money directly from banks and avoid targeting end users”.

The gang, which Kaspersky dubbed Carbanak, used computer viruses to infect company networks with malware including video surveillance, enabling it to see and record everything that happened on staff’s screens.

Stealing Money

In some cases it was then able to transfer money from the banks’ accounts to their own, or even able to tell cash machines to dispense cash at a pre-determined time of day.

Kaspersky said on average each bank robbery took between two and four months, with up to $10 million stolen each time.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center is an organization that alerts banks about hacking activity. In January 2015 they briefed their members about the Kaspersky report.

“We believe our members are taking appropriate actions to prevent and detect these kinds of attacks and minimise any effects on their customers,” it said in a statement.

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1. What is the Kaspersky Lab? What did their report say?

2. Kaspersky Lab works alone. Is this correct or wrong?

3. Was there a new trend in hacking? What was the new trend?

4. What technique or method do the cyper criminals use?

5. On average how long did it take to rob a bank and how much was stolen?

6. The hackers are stupid. Yes, no, maybe or both?

7. What is The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center? What do they do?
A. Are you a hacker? Are any of your classmates, friends or colleagues hackers?

B. Describe a “typical” hacker.

C. Are you or your coworkers involved in anti-hacking work?

D. Has your PC or laptop been infected by viruses, spam or other malware?

E. Experts who can debug, clean and fix computers are very popular and successful. They are heroes. Do you agree?

F. What will happen in the future?

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