[ISN] Waco bank targeted by computer hackers in Russia

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 15:23:23 PDT

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    June 3, 2001
    Associated Press 
    WACO -- A Central Texas bank is one of two banks nationwide whose
    computer systems were penetrated by two Russian hackers, according to
    court papers filed in Seattle.
    Although no customer account information was stolen, officials of
    Central National Bank, which operates branches in Waco and Temple,
    said the break-in caught them by surprise.
    Michelle Dietrich, technical manager for the bank, said bank
    executives first learned that their system had been targeted when FBI
    officials notified them in August of the break-in, the Waco
    Tribune-Herald reported in today's editions.
    The case is being watched worldwide because of its implications for
    international computer crime law, officials said.
    Russian citizens Vasiliy Gorshkov, 25, and Alexey Ivanov, 21, probably
    had access to the bank's system for about six months before it was
    detected, Dietrich said.
    Fortunately, the bank's firewall, a computer security mechanism,
    performed well and the hackers were only able to access random data
    that was not usable, she said.
    "They didn't commit fraud (with the bank's information)," Dietrich
    said. "No customers were harmed in any way."
    Gorshkov and Ivanov also hacked into the computer systems of at least
    38 other companies, often following the break-in with an extortion
    demand, the court papers indicate.
    Although Gorshkov and Ivanov were arrested Nov. 10 in Seattle, the
    case was not made public until a Seattle grand jury indicted them in
    April on charges of conspiracy and computer fraud.
    FBI investigators have said the hackers scanned the Internet for
    businesses still using Microsoft programs with a known security
    vulnerability. Central National Bank uses the program, but Dietrich
    said she is not sure if that is why the Waco bank was targeted,
    especially since the bank uses a different type of program for
    security purposes. She said it might have just been a random attack.
    Dietrich said the only change to Central National's security system
    will be more extensive monitoring of the bank's network, she said.
    "(The attack) was kind of an eye-opener to be more cautious, but the
    (firewall) did its job," Dietrich said.
    The other bank that was hacked by the men is the Nara Bank of Los
    Angeles, according to court documents.
    Officials believe Gorshkov and Ivanov may have been responsible for
    the highly publicized theft of 15,700 credit card numbers from Western
    Union in Denver in September and a computer break-in at the e-finance
    company PayPal of Palo Alto, Calif., the country's largest
    Internet-based payment company.
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