back to article Silence! Cybercrime's Pinky and the Brain have nicked $800k off banks

A pair of cybercrooks who may have started out as legit infosec pros have expanded their operations outside Russia and begun attacking banks across the world. "Silence is an example of a mobile, small, and young group that has been progressing rapidly," Group-IB said, adding that the cybercrime group has shown signs of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Narf!

    Although being fair, most of Brains plans unravelled by a simple oversight or they gave up on the brink of success. Shame they never tried the same plan twice but with lessons learned.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      One is a genius. The other's insane. But which one's which?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The current confirmed total thefts from Silence attacks stands at $800,000.

    That's quite a pile of cash....the mound of Silence?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      If they're really that good, I suppose they could make more than that with legit work. Maybe it's just a hobby for them?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That's quite a pile of cash....the mound of Silence?"

      Not to be confused with the "Cone of Silence" used by another criminal to bilk taxpayers out of tens of thousands of dollars.

      https://www.vox.com/2018/9/5/17819548/epa-scott-pruitt-inspector-security-detail

      1. vir

        Re: "That's quite a pile of cash....the mound of Silence?"

        I liked Baron Harkonnen's Cone of Silence better.

    3. msknight Silver badge

      Hello banker, my old friend.

      It's good to steal from you again.

      Because a keyboard softly, typing.

      Takes your money while you're sleeping.

      And the numbers, from your silos... slowly drain.

      This is the mound... of silence

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    _Security_Apocalypse_

    The article hints that at the 'How', or how conveniently simple it is now to slip from White-Hat to Black-Hat... But not the 'Why'.... This trend should worry the tech community. Perhaps some firms or senior executives didn't take these White-Hats talents seriously, because IT = Plumbing after all!

  4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    They're Pinky and the Brain,

    Yes, Pinky and the Brain,

    One is a genius, the other's insane.

    To prove their mousey worth,

    They'll overthrow the earth.

    They're dinky.

    They're Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain!

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      are you thinking what I'm thinking Pinky?

      I think so, Brain. But would the villains really have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those pesky kids and their dog?....

  5. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    You'd think they'd put the name of the team in the article, not just their aliases.

    1. Little Mouse

      Maybe they did... Are your face and arms covered in biro marks?

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Crayons actually. Bit funny that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank Heavens they are attacking Banks!

    Look on the bright side - they are not hacking the electronic voting infrastructure - think what would happen if they had a tool that could jackpot voting machines. Luckily there's no money in it ... is there?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    First investment of $5,000 was repaid in a week.

    We started with a small lab in MSTU but very soon we could rent our own office. The first investment of $5,000 was repaid in a week when we got our first investigation.” ref

    Who said you can never make money out of Microsoft Windows :]

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How could they know what kind of keybord was used?

    how the hell could it be determined that "Silence used Russian words typed on an English keyboard layout to send commands to backdoors they had deployed."

    How the hell could that be determined? Not a Russian layout I get, because of typical letter conversions between Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, but specifically English layout seems a bit over the top

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How could they know what kind of keybord was used?

      I think they typed Russian words, onto a physically Russian keyboard, but with the OS set to map those keys to the equivalent English layout.

      You would get a nonsense word as a result, which your traffic sniffer or firewall would not readily match to an English or Russian dictionary. You would need to run the Russian to English layout mapping on the Russian dictionary to get the corresponding nonsense dictionary, which you could then use to find and block those packets reaching their intended destinations.

      1. Ogi

        Re: How could they know what kind of keybord was used?

        > I think they typed Russian words, onto a physically Russian keyboard, but with the OS set to map those keys to the equivalent English layout.

        Indeed likely. I use a similar trick with important passwords, switching to Korean or somesuch language, but typing my password on my UK keyboard. The result on the other end was basically unintelligible.

        It is basically security by obscurity (you need to know the mapping used, and that mapping was done), but it is a useful layer on top of a good password and other security practices.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How could they know what kind of keybord was used?

        Google does this already (I work with some Belarusian devs and occasionally get such nonsense in messages before an apologie and correction)

    2. Clive Galway

      Re: How could they know what kind of keybord was used?

      Lack of accents? Using English equivalent characters? Extended Scan Codes?

  9. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Russian Hackers or Red Herring?

    This sounds a bit like the bad guys are tossing out want they want good guys to believe. Servers can be set up anywhere, doing the Russian on an English Keyboard (or mapped to an English keyboard) isn't all that hard.

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