This is just in. Online cyber hacking group known as the Black Hats has managed to hack the popular stocks trading software called QUIK using malware.
Online experts that have been studying the malware have realized that malware has been used to hack into the QUIK software used by Russian stock traders. Hacking attacks utilizing malware have been increasingly used since November 2012.
These malware are being used as ‘key loggers’ against private and corporate accounts in various banks to extract information utilizing keystrokes.
While key-logging malware have been used to extract banking information, stock trading entities have been targeted using less technical means like development of pseudo profiles and tricking people into divulging important information.
Therefore, the use of malware to strike the stock trading software, QUIK, in Russia has been unprecedented, according to Group-IB, a security company based in Russia.
QUIK is a stock trading software jointly developed by Russian and American software experts and is widely used in Russia for trading stocks on the MICEX, a popular stock exchange in Russia.
The MICEX uses QUIK for various purposes of stock trading like Initial Public Offering of stocks, trading of stocks, and much more. The fact that large Russian businesses are present on the MICEX like Gazprom and RusHydro, a malware attack can have far-reaching consequences.
Group-IB has found out that the malware used by Black Hats to attack the MICEX is very similar to another malware called Ranbyus that is used to infect computers running Windows OS. The malware used by Black Hats allows cyber criminals to connect to a PC in the MICEX using Remote Accessibility Tools (RATs) and conduct illegal acts using the computer’s IP address.
The best defense against malware is to use good anti-virus software and frequently changing passwords and codes. QUIK itself uses two-way encryption of important information like passwords to prevent hacking attempts.
Although security experts managed to contain the cyber attack by cyber criminals Black Hats using malware, Russian stock traders also need to beef up their own security using anti-virus, firewalls, and frequent password changes. After all, there is no protection against a malware called, carelessness!