When Kaspersky this weekend dribbled details to the New York Times about a major cyber crime gang, which it dubbed “Carbanak”, that might have got away with as much as $1bn, it raised a lot of eyebrows.
The Russian security software company, best known for its anti-virus software, had once again pulled off a major crime-busting coup, it seemed. Interpol, Europol and a lot of other organisations ending in “pol” were, apparently, working with Kaspersky to bring the crooks to justice.
However, as in all likelihood they’re based in Russia, it’s equally likely that they are the police – or, at least, enjoy some level of political protection.
Except that Kaspersky wasn’t quite first with the news. Before Christmas, lesser-known security companies Fox-IT and Group-IB released a report about a gang going by the name of “Anunak”, who had also – coincidentally – broken into banks’ networks and started playing around with the account transfer systems to their own financial benefit.
Could there possibly be any relation between Carbanak and Anunak? Err, yes, says independent security bod Graham Cluley, who reports that according to Fox-IT they are one and the same. The lesson for Fox-IT is clear: don’t release top-notch reports right before Christmas, sex it up a little first, and maybe release it exclusively, first, to a top IT publication first – like, say, Computing…
If you can’t wait until 7pm this evening to read Kaspersky’s 40+ page report, there’s always the one from Fox-IT and Group-IB instead.