FBI Says Russian Hackers Hit Citigroup for Tens of Millions

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russian-hackers-hit-citigroup-for-tens-of-millions-fbi-saysThe FBI is looking into what the government says was a cyberattack on Citigroup (C), probably from inside Russia. The Wall Street Journalreports that the action "resulted in a theft of tens of millions of dollars by computer hackers." Citi claims that the report is not true. "We had no breach of the system and there were no losses, no customer losses, no bank losses," said Joe Petro, managing director of Citigroup's security and investigative services.The alleged hack into Citi's computers may have used a program called Black Energy, developed by private cyberbandits in Russia, which can infiltrate IT systems and take data.

The U.S. banking system may be at risk from these cyberattacks, but the financial system may not be their most important target, at least as far as the federal government is concerned. Last July, hackers, probably from North Korea, targeted government websites in the U.S. and South Korea. Computers at the Treasury Department and FTC were shut down briefly.

Programmers are becoming much more sophisticated at breaking into the servers and PCs that run major websites, including those run by the U.S. government. Anti-hacker software is supposed to be well-designed and highly effective, but it appears that is not always the case.

The government and businesses with sensitive information, including banks and defense contractors, are likely to be subject to more and more of these breaches, and there isn't much evidence to show that all of them can be stopped.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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