US Bank Accounts Targeted by Project Blitzkrieg

Customers of several major US banks should be concerned about the security of their accounts, after research from cyber security firms RSA and McAfee found the accounts are vulnerable to cyberterrorism.  The research suggests that a cyber attack, codenamed ‘Project Blitzkrieg,’ will target US bank accounts in the spring of 2013.  The security firms are even more concerned that the main suspect in the case has disappeared without a trace.


RSA announced details of the attack in October – McAfee validated those details this week – which said that the criminals behind Project Blitzkrieg had developed a powerful Trojan virus.  This malware is reportedly programmed to target bank accounts from Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and several other US banks.  The scam uses cloning computers to make the criminals appear as the account holders, bypassing bank security while entering stolen usernames and passwords. 
RSA linked the plot to two Russian criminals including a reputed cyber mafia boss nicknamed ‘NSD’.  NSD has been on the radar of independent security researcher Brian Krebs, who says that since the scam was exposed in October, NSD has disappeared.  However, his disappearance doesn’t mean the plan is finished.
“I can't find him anywhere.  Either bringing this to light scuttled any plans to go forward, or it's still moving ahead cautiously under a much more protective cover.”

Knowing that the project may still be going ahead, McAfee says it is preparing the banks known to be targeted in the potential attack as well as coordinating efforts with law enforcement.  The banking system faces thousands of cyberattacks each year, according to McAfee.  The security group cited a previous attack by a group believed to have ties to the Iranian government, which successfully blocked customer access to websites of the largest US banks. 

Both McAfee and RSA warn that the frequency and sophistication of these cyber attacks is increasing every year.