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Operation High Roller fraud puts US finance companies on red alert

Karl Flinders

Global fraud gang Operation High Roller – which targeted European finance firms earlier this year – has spread in the last three months to countries including the US, according to McAfee’s latest threat report.

Operation High Roller – discovered by McAfee and Guardian Analytics – is believed to have reached banking systems worldwide. It is made up of at least a dozen groups that use active and passive automated transfer systems to steal high-value transactions from high-balance accounts. 

McAfee Labs also saw increases in ransomware and mobile malware. During the last quarter the number of unique samples of ransomware, which extorts money from its victims, jumped 43%. Mobile malware doubled in the last three months and Android remained the number-one target.

“Cyber crime exhibits few signs of slowing down,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice-president of McAfee Labs. 

“Though we tend to highlight the numbers, the fact is that we continue to see increased sophistication of attacks.”

He said cyber crime, hacktivism, and cyber warfare are evolving. 

“Everyone from governments to large enterprises, small business and home users are facing a wider range of digital threats from these forces, as they gain more actionable intelligence on their victims, and leverage the newest attack platforms and exploits tools to launch their campaigns,” said Weafer.

The research also revealed database breaches are at an all-time high with the total number of data breaches in 2012 already surpassing the figure for the entire 2011 calendar year. 

There was a 20% increase in suspicious URLs, with a substantial number of these URLs hosting malware.


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