Analysis

New Malware Suggests Kremlin Support for Cyber Thieves
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a computer screen in an Internet cafe in Moscow during a special interactive webcast in 2006. Evidence of Putin’s support of cyber criminals who steal millions from U.S. bank accounts is growing, but will be hard to prove. (DENIS SINYAKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
August 9, 2013
| Security
| Russia and Central Asia, The Americas
Summary
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CYBER WAR

A new professional-grade piece of banking malware dubbed “KINS” recently appeared on the Russian black market, providing further evidence that the Russian government is not just ignoring the activities of cyber thieves, but is quietly encouraging them. Russian’s refusal to cooperate in the July 25 indictments of five Russians and a Ukrainian for hacking and theft of millions of dollars from American bank accounts using KINS has added to the growing suspicions.
KINS appears to be focused on banking customers in the United States and the European Union. The new banking “trojan” appears to be a replacement for an earlier banking trojan available in the Russian cybercrime underground called“Citadel,” which was pulled from Russian cybercrime forums in December 2012. While no “smoking gun” definitively establishing Russian state sponsorship has yet appeared, the latest developments seem further indication that the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin is in bed with cyber thieves.
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