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Malware attacks on two banks have links with 2014 Sony Pictures hack

Peter Sayer | May 16, 2016
Security researchers have found a long chain of coding coincidences linking ​attempted fraud over the SWIFT network​ to the 2014 Sony Pictures hack.

So that's two banks attacked with malware containing a file deletion function identical to that used in a piece of malware called msoutc.exe. And there are strong similarities between the suicide script, encryption keys and mutex names used by msoutc.exe and those used by malware involved in the Sony attack.

It's still anybody's guess who's behind all these attacks: in Bangladesh, government officials are pointing the finger at SWIFT technicians who worked on the central bank's network last year, while the FBI says that attack was an inside job -- but blames the North Koreans for Sony.

Despite the connections between the attacks highlighted by Shevchenko and Nish, there's still a chance that someone else is as handy with the decompiler as they are, and reused the code -- and chose similar encryption keys -- to leave a false trail.

But the chances of that, the BAE researchers said, are slim. 

"The overlaps between these samples provide strong links for the same coder being behind the recent bank heist cases and a wider known campaign stretching back almost a decade," they concluded.

 

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