Russia announced on Friday that it has countered an attempt by foreign hackers to get the passwords to its banking systems. The counterattack was staged some few days just before the actual attack took place.
Via a statement released by the Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB reported that the cyber attack had been staged to take place on 5th December with the aim of destabilizing Russia’s financial system.
The FSB declined to name a country it suspected had hands into the attempted attack. The only information they provided is that the attackers had planned to exploit the BlazingFast servers (a Ukraine company based in the Netherlands which rents out server space).
But BalzingFast director, Anton Onoprichuk, said that he had no information regarding the attack.
While speaking to the media, he said:
We cannot find any malicious data. We have many customers and nobody can prove that our customers did anything wrong.
He went on to add that they had been contacted by FSB.
The Dutch ministry when asked over the matter said that it has substantial evidence to prove that its infrastructure may be a target for causing an attack elsewhere in the world.
Through a statement, the ministry said: “In case there a cyberattack does occur on Monday, then it is up to the Russian authorities to decide whether to start an investigation. … If desired, they can ask the Dutch investigating authorities for assistance.”
Apart from just exploiting Russia’s financial system, the attackers had plans to spread out false information regarding the banks and publish fake stories on social media that puts into doubt their financial capabilities.
Had the plans gone on through successfully, the banks would have witnessed a run and many of them crumbled to their knees.
An information security expert at InfoWatch explained that recent times have seen a shift clients being the targets. Hackers are now focusing on the banks themselves.
Russian state news agency Ria reported that several major Russian banks, including Sberbank, suffered a denial of service attack last month.