Europol: Banks are becoming main targets of cyberattacks
Europol director Rob Wainwright told Reuters in an interview that banks, rather than their customers, are the main targets of online thieves on Friday 17 April.
"That has been an important change," Wainwright told Reuters after a conference on cyber security in The Hague.
He said the hacks were remarkable when it comes to the sophistication of the malware being used to identify the most important employees in the bank.
The director cited several cases that have been reported in the media, but said many more were never made public.
"Now that's dangerous because in those cases it led to millions of losses, multi-million losses. But it also shows a level of capability that is getting higher all the time, and perhaps runs the risk of outstripping the ability of the banks to deal with it," he said.
"It is raising serious questions about, even, about the health of the financial services industry."
He said the number of "kingpins" behind hacking attacks on banks was more than 100 and fewer than 1,000. Most came from Russia or Ukraine.
He said banks needed to improve their defences, especially by understanding which employees were most vulnerable to attack and which in turn had authority over vital infrastructure, he said. Police were also looking at new ways to respond.
Wainwright said that the criminal infrastructure is dependent on the code writers and he added that the police are devoting resources to identifying malware creators.