Scam Alert #17 — Bank sneakers & hacker arrests
It’s like a modern version of the movie “Sneakers.”
Hackers stole more than $20 million from banks in Mexico.
And across the world, the FBI helped take down one of the alleged Dark Overlord hackers who threatened to kill kids if schools didn’t pay ransom for students’ data.
This is your latest scam alert.
The hackers transferred the money from real accounts to fake accounts at Mexican banks, reported the newspaper El Financiero.
In some cases, the attackers contacted real bank clients and offered them a cut of the money if they agreed to use their accounts for the theft, the newspaper said.
The thieves quickly withdrew all the money at the end of April before the banks could spot the problem.
A customer counts cash from the ATM at a Mexico bank. Image credit: Archer News
In “Sneakers,” thieves hack accounts by computer and transfer money.
Robert Redford’s character then empties his account and walks out in front of security guards, unaware that his briefcase is full of ill-gotten cash.
One of Mexico’s most popular banks, Banorte, was hard hit in this new scam, according to El Financiero.
Thieves in “Sneakers” rob a bank by computer, withdrawing the money before the bank discovers the theft. Image credit: Universal Studios’ Sneakers via Movieclips
Attackers are trying to scam U.S. banks as well.
In 2016, online thieves hit what may be the biggest bank jackpot in the world — they nabbed 81 million dollars from Bangladesh banks.
Now, Mexico’s central bank says it will come up with new cybersecurity measures to prevent theft.
Dark Overlord Bust
The Dark Overlord group tortured families in three states last year, hacking school info and threatening parents and kids.
Now, police say they’ve arrested one of the Dark Overlord hackers.
Police in Serbia say they took in a man from Belgrade, part of an operation with the FBI.
The Dark Overlord attackers hit schools in Montana, Iowa and Texas last fall.
They told some families that they would kill some kids — and kids’ blood would spatter — if schools didn’t pay ransom for the data.
Dark Overlord hackers sent threatening messages to parents in September & October 2017. Image credit: KCCI News
The Dark Overlord group has also attacked Gorilla Glue and multiple heart care organizations, as well as hacking Netflix and ABC and leaking episodes of “Orange Is The New Black” and “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome,” according to Bleeping Computer.
Police also arrested an alleged school hacker in the San Francisco Bay Area.
They say an Ygnacio Valley High School student sent fake messages to school staff telling them to login and reset their passwords.
Police say a teacher did, and the student got into the system and changed grades higher or lower for sixteen kids.
“The ‘up’ ones were all my friends and the ‘down’ ones were my enemies I didn’t like,” the student told KPIX-TV.
An electronic-sniffing dog found a tell-tale stash of digital evidence in a box of tissues at the student’s house, according to police.
An electronics sniffing dog found an SD card in a box of tissues at the student’s home, according to police. Image credit: Concord Police Department
The student said it was very easy to hack in and he’s sorry for what he did.
“I’m sorry for the teacher that I hacked,” he said to KPIX-TV. “I wish I could be like an IT-type person and work with the top-notch level.”
Hacktivists took over the Idaho legislature’s official website.
But the group calling itself AnonPlus — like Anonymous Plus — defaced it on Friday and posted a message in Italian.
It said, among other things, that it fights abuse by politicians and other groups in power.
AnonPlus defaced the Idaho legislature website with a manifesto in Italian. Image credit: Idaho Statesman
People trying to buy train tickets in Denmark hit a wall this week.
Attackers paralyzed computer systems with a mass computer attack.
It’s called a DDoS, or distributed denial of service, where the bad guys hammer a system with so much traffic that the system can’t function.
Customers reported trouble buying tickets for trains in Denmark on May 13 after a cyber attack. Image credit: Twitter
This is the same kind of attack that blitzed Twitter, Amazon, Reddit and more in October 2016, stopping you from getting to those sites.
Attackers also used a DDoS when they shut off power in Ukraine in 2015.
Many of the sites you know and love are constantly under attack by DDoS.
Sometimes the bad guys are successful, and you can’t reach the sites; sometimes companies fend them off.
Researchers at Columbia University in New York say they’ve invented a special code to hide messages in words.
They change the shape of the letters, making some of them a tiny bit taller or shorter or making the round parts tighter or looser.
Researchers made tiny, almost imperceptible changes in letters to send secret messages. Image credit: Columbia Engineering
They can use it to hide secret messages, like, “Greetings my friend. You finally found me,” in text from the Hobbit.
They say you could use this secret code to verify that documents like this invoice are real, so scammers can’t trick you with fakes.
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Main image: A customer uses an ATM in Mexico. Image credit: Archer News