Attackers use hacked home routers to hit Russia's 5 largest banks

The routers were likely hacked through a recent vulnerability in the TR-069 management protocol

Botnets made up of hacked home routers were used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against the five largest financial organizations in Russia.

The attacks occurred on Monday, Dec. 5, and were detected and mitigated by Rostelecom, Russia's state-owned telecommunications company. The attacks peaked at 3.2 million packets per second (Mpps) and the longest attack lasted for over two hours, Rostelecom reported Friday.

The company did not provide a bandwidth measurement for the attacks, but 3.2Mpps is not that much. DDoS mitigation providers regularly see attacks that exceed 100 Mpps and a very large September attack against the website of cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs peaked at 665Gbps and 143Mpps.

This week's DDoS attacks against the Russian banks used the TCP SYN flood technique and originated from hacked home routers, according to Muslim Medzhlumov, director of Rostelecom's cybersecurity center.

A common trait for these routers is that all of them were using the CPE WAN Management Protocol (CWMP), also known TR-069. This is a protocol used by ISPs to remotely manage routers installed in their customers' homes.

A vulnerability was recently found in the TR-069 implementation from routers handed out to users by ISPs in multiple countries, including Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Eir in Ireland and TalkTalk in the U.K. Attackers quickly took advantage of the flaw to infect thousands of devices with malware and it's very likely that some of them were used to launch the attacks against the Russian banks.

Last Friday, the Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB, said that it foiled a large-scale cyberattack planned by a foreign intelligence service that aimed to destabilize the country’s financial system.

The attack was planned for Dec. 5, according to the FSB, and would have included spreading fake claims about a crisis in the country's financial system via social media and text messages. It's not clear whether DDoS was also part of the plan and if the attacks mitigated by Rostelecom are related to the foiled campaign.

DDoS attacks against banks are not unusual. In 2012, crippling DDoS attacks disrupted the online services of multiple banks in the U.S. In July 2015, three banks in the U.K. suffered similar disruptions. According to the FBI, financial institutions regularly receive extortion emails from hackers threatening to disrupt their services.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?