WSJ reports the FBI is investigating a computer-security breach targeting Citigroup (C), that resulted in a theft of tens of millions of dollars by computer hackers.
According to government officials, the attack was directed at Citigroup’s Citibank subsidiary, which includes its North American retail bank and other businesses, with the hackers apparently linked to a “Russian cyber gang”.
Hackers also assaulted two other entities, at least one of them a U.S. government agency, said the report, citing people familiar with the attack on Citibank. However, the Journal also quoted managing director of Citi’s Security and Investigative services, Joe Petro, as saying there was “no breach of the system and there were no losses, no customer losses, no bank losses,” and that the idea “the FBI was working a case at Citigroup involving tens of millions of losses is just not true.”
The Citibank attack, notes the report, was detected over the summer, but investigators are currently looking into the possibility the attack may have occurred months or even a year earlier.
The new attack targeting Citibank highlights the growing level of sophistication and threat posed by overseas criminal networks. “There were a couple of days of struggling,” said one person familiar with the attack. “There were some sophisticated elements that made it hard to block.”
It is unclear whether the hackers gained access to the bank’s systems directly or through third parties.