Russia says hackers stole more than $17 million from its banks in 2017

UNTV News   •   February 14, 2018   •   3154

FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

MAGNITOGORSK, Russia (Reuters) – Hackers stole more than 1 billion roubles ($17 million) from Russian banks using the Cobalt Strike security-testing tool in 2017, a central bank official said on Tuesday.

Russia is under intense scrutiny over cyber crime following allegations hackers backed by Moscow have attacked targets in the United States and Europe, accusations the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

Russian authorities are now keen to show that Russia too is a frequent victim of cyber crime and that they are working hard to combat it.

Central bank Deputy Governor Dmitry Skobelkin told an information security conference in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk that 21 “waves of attacks” using Cobalt Strike had been recorded in 2017.

“More than 240 credit organizations were hit by the attacks, 11 of which were successful. The amount stolen was more than 1 billion roubles,” he said.

Cobalt Strike is a security tool used to test the strength of an organization’s cyber defenses, but it has also been used by hackers to attack banks in Russia and Europe.

A group known as Cobalt because of their use of the tool attacked cash machines in more than a dozen countries in 2016, using the malicious software to force the ATMs to spit out cash.

Skobelkin said the Russian central bank had sent warnings to more than 400 organizations which were targeted by the Cobalt group last year.

($1 = 57.8102 roubles)

Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Susan Fenton

DFA: No Filipino casualty in Aeroflot plane crash in Russia

Marje Pelayo   •   May 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday (May 7) reported that no Filipino casualty was recorded in a passenger plane mishap in Moscow, Russia.

“The Philippine Embassy in Moscow reported that there were no Filipinos among the 76 passengers onboard the plane,” the DFA said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to reports, at least 41 people on board Aeroflot SU 1492 were killed, including two children.

Meanwhile, 14 others received outpatient treatment and nine people were hospitalized after the crash.

The aircraft crash-landed in Sheremetyevo Airport before it burst into flames.

On his official social media page, Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta confirmed that no Filipino was hurt in the incident.

“We would like to confirm that there were no Filipinos on board flight SU1492 from Moscow to Murmansk which caught fire at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday,” he said.

“We wish to reiterate our expression of sympathy to the families and friends who lost their loved ones and pray for the safe recovery of those injured,” he added. –

According to authorities, the plane was forced to return to the Sheremetyevo Airport due to technical problems. It suffered engine fire after it crash-landed on the runway. – Marje Pelayo

41 reported killed after Russian passenger plane crash-lands in Moscow

Marje Pelayo   •   May 6, 2019

The rear part of a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane bursts into flames after crash landing at a Moscow airport | Courtesy: Reuters

RUSSIA — Forty-one people on board a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane were killed on Sunday (May 5), including two children, after the aircraft caught fire as it made a bumpy emergency landing at a Moscow airport, Russian investigators said.

Amateur footage showed the Sukhoi Superjet 100 crash bouncing along the tarmac at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport before the rear part of the plane suddenly burst into flames.

Many passengers on board SU 1492 then escaped via the plane’s emergency slides that inflated after the hard landing.

The plane, which flew from Moscow to the northern Russian city of Murmansk, had been carrying 73 passengers and five crew members, Russia’s aviation watchdog said.

Yelena Markovskaya, a Russia’s Investigative Committee official, said in a statement that only 37 out of 78 people on board had survived, meaning 41 people had lost their lives.

No official cause has been given for the disaster.

The Investigative Committee said it had opened an investigation and was looking into whether the pilots had breached air safety rules.

Some passengers blamed bad weather and lightning.

President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed their condolences and ordered investigators to establish the cause of what had happened. (REUTERS)

Russia hunts for body fragments, clues after fatal plane crash

UNTV News   •   February 12, 2018

Russian Emergency Situations Ministry members work at the crash site of the short-haul AN-148 airplane operated by Saratov Airlines in Moscow Region, Russia February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Emergency workers in Russia searched snow-covered fields outside Moscow on Monday, looking for body fragments and clues after a fatal plane crash a day earlier killed all 71 people on board.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered a special commission to investigate what caused the AN-148 plane operated by Saratov Airlines to crash outside Moscow shortly after taking off for the city of Orsk in the Orenburg region, about 900 miles (1,500 km) southeast of the capital.

Among the possible causes investigators are looking into are weather conditions, human error and the plane’s technical condition. The plane’s crew did not send any distress signals.

Experts are analyzing a flight recorder recovered in the wreckage as well as plane fragments. Footage from a CCTV camera which captured some of what happened was posted online on Monday. It showed what looked like a large ball of fire streaking through the sky.

Debris and human remains are spread over a radius of a kilometer around the crash site, investigators have said.

Officials from Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry told a meeting broadcast on state TV on Monday that DNA tests were being organized with the relatives of those killed to try to identify body fragments.

The plane, manufactured in 2010, had been carrying 65 passengers and six crew. The passenger list showed many young people were on board, including a five-year-old girl.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Jack Stubbs

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