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Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:40

Hackers rob Post Office

Written by Nick Farell



Didn't need a shooter


The days of a bank robber sticking his wife's pantihose over his head and taking a shooter to rob a bank are over. South African Postbank - part of the nation's Post Office service was robbed of $6.7 million over three days using a hack attack.

The cyber gang had carried out detailed surveillance and knew a lot about the post office's IT systems.  Apparently it opened accounts in post offices across the country and hacked into a employee computer in the Rustenburg Post Office. Apparently once the offices were closed for the New Year holidays, the gang accessed the computer from a remote location and used it to break into Postbank's server system and transfer money from various accounts into the ones they opened.

They raised the withdrawal limits on those accounts and then proceeded to take the money out from cash points in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State over a three day period. They stopped when the bank's offices were opened again on January 3. The robbery was only discovered when staff came back from their holidays and the attack was only made public this week.

One insecurity expert said that Postbank's fraud detection system was rubbish and the outfit's Postbank network and security systems are shocking and in desperate need of an overhaul. The bank has issued a statement saying that none of its customers' bank accounts were affected by the robbery.

At the moment the coppers are investigating if a backdoor into the compromised computer was installed by the employee unwittingly or whether the employee was recruited by the gang to allow them access.

Nick Farell

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