Phone system DDoS coupled with Hack Attack [Telecom]

This is something new (9-OCT-2010):

" " When a giant international cyber-theft ring was broken up last " week, details emerged about a new tactic hackers are using: " bombarding individual and business phones with incessant calls " using automated dialing programs and, while the phones are " tied up, raiding bank and brokerage accounts. " " If the financial institutions can't reach the victims to ask " about the suspicious activity, the transactions often go through, " law-enforcement officials say. It is a new twist on so-called " denial-of-service attacks, in which hackers overload financial- " services websites with information in order to crash them. " " The cyber-theft ring -- in which dozens of arrests were made in the " U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands and Ukraine, according to court " documents and federal officials -- allegedly used the tactic, among " others. " " The ring was responsible for losses of $70 million from accounts " at various banks and brokerage firms, including J.P. Morgan " Chase & Co., E*Trade Financial Corp. and TD Ameritrade Holding " Corp.'s TD Ameritrade, according to the Federal Bureau of " Investigation. " " TD Ameritrade confirms that it has been working with the FBI " in its investigation of the ring since last December. Chase " says it is working closely with national and local law " enforcement and cyber-security experts. An E*Trade spokeswoman " says the company is cooperating with the investigation. " " The ring allegedly used a "malware" program called "Zeus Trojan" " to hijack accounts, embedding it in email messages and " attachments. Once installed, it grabbed user names and passwords " from banking and brokerage accounts, enabling the alleged " thieves to drain the accounts. " " At the same time, victims' phones were tied up with a barrage " of phone calls, according to the federal complaints, preventing " them from contacting their bank or brokerage. Busy signals " also prevented fraud monitors at the institutions from contacting " victims, according to FBI officials who were interviewed before " the announcement of the arrests. " " The ring then allegedly took over the accounts, transferring " funds to new ones set up by "mules," or accomplices, who " collected funds and transferred them elsewhere. " " The telephone bombardments lasted as long as a week, sometimes " forcing victims to disconnect their lines or switch phone " numbers, which bought the suspects time to raid their accounts. " " "They overwhelm a victim's phones so that the bank can't call " the victim and the victim can't call them," says Timothy Ryan, " supervisor for the cyber-investigations unit of the FBI's " Newark, N.J., office. The FBI issued an alert for consumers " about the telephone denial-of-service attacks in June. " " [...]

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Thad Floryan
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