Sabric on Tuesday reassured the banking industry and its clients that there had been no discernible harm from potential malware attacks on major banks in the sub-Saharan region. Photo: Pixabay

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) on Tuesday reassured the banking industry and its clients that there had been no discernible harm from potential malware attacks on major banks in the sub-Saharan region. 

This follows warnings from security research firm Kaspersky, which warned about a Russian hacking syndicate called Silence.

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Kaspersky on Monday issued a report entitled “Silence before the storm: Russian speaking hacking group is attacking banks in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)”, in which it warned that Silence had claimed to have made inroads in hacking into financial institutions in the region.

“There has been no impact on our banks to date and it is business as usual as all banking services are operating normally. Nevertheless, the banking industry takes cybersecurity very seriously and has robust risk mitigation strategies in place. Because banks, as the custodians of money, are continuously under attack globally, these strategies are agile and are reviewed as new threats are identified,” Sabric acting chief executive Susan Potgieter said.

According to Kaspersky, the Silence group is one of the most active Advanced Persistent Threat actors, which has carried out a number of successful campaigns targeting banks and financial organisations around the globe.

“The attacks detected began in the first week of January 2020 and indicated that the threat actors are about to begin the final stage of their operation and cash out the funds. To the date, the attacks are ongoing and persist in targeting large banks in several SSA countries,” it said.

It said the Silence group had been productive in the past years with rapid and co-ordinated thefts.

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