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Banks and financial firms hit by $1bn cyber attack

Around 100 banks and financial firms have been targeted as part of a global cyber attack with losses estimated at $1bn (£650m).

The Financial Times reports the potential losses are from a number of attacks over the past two years, according to a statement from security company Kaspersky.

In a statement yesterday, said to be backed by Interpol, Europol and international authorities, Kaspersky said: “It’s not 100 per cent clear at this point whether all the targets were successful or not. It’s still an attack that’s very much active.”

The company said a criminal gang referred to by investigators as Carbanak attacked firms’ system through “spear phishing”, where employees are targeted with emails that release malware into a company’s system once opened.

As part of the cyber attack, the activities of officials who had the power to transfer large amounts of cash were studied. Using this knowledge, up to $10m was moved to special accounts in China and the US.

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