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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?