Russia’s state-owned bank claims to have fought cyberattack involving “at least 104k hackers and 30k devices”

The claims that Russian largest bank Sberbank, which is majority state-owned, successfully fought against a DDoS attack involving “at least 104k hackers and 30k devices” certainly made some experts raise eyebrows.

Stanislav Kuznetsov, a Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, told a state-owned channel, Russia-24, that the institution suffered the largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on October 7.

According to Kuznetsov, the attack “was carefully planned in advance” and was executed from “foreign infrastructure,” with hundreds of thousands of hackers involved.

Interestingly, no problems with the functioning of the bank occurred during such a massive campaign. Nonetheless, Kuznetsov called the attack “complicated.”

“And our specialists have found all the necessary resources to successfully repel this attack. The attack lasted 24 hours and 7 minutes,” he said.

According to him, the attack targeted 440 Sberbank services.

“To be honest, the attack was the most powerful. Its purpose was clear - to actually stop the work of our bank,” Kuznetsov claimed.

He also added that Sberbank has suffered a total of 470 DDoS attacks since the start of 2022.

Despite the claims, experts are calling DDoS attacks rather uncomplicated in nature for cyber-prepared institution. As such, Mantas Sasnauskas, Head of Research at Cybernews, said that a similar attack would be fairly easy to mitigate, although it remains unclear how Sberbank estimated the number of hackers and devices used.

“DDoS attacks are arbitrarily uncomplicated and straightforward. In this time and age, all businesses should already have processes in place to mitigate DDoS attacks. It is not something to be proud of, it should be a normal business risk mitigation policy.

“The fact that 104 thousand 'hackers' were attacking Sberbank says nothing, and it would be interesting to see how they came up with such numbers. However, a botnet of 30,000 devices that Sberbank claims attacked their infrastructure would be in the lower to mid-range as the largest botnets usually ramp up hundreds of thousands or even millions of devices. A DDoS attack of 30,000 would be arbitrarily easily mitigated by a blog owner using third-party provider.”

Sberbank is among Russian entities sanctioned by the US, UK, and the EU.

Previously, the bank came under the spotlight for a major leak of Sberbank’s credit cards, with a total of 12,300 cards' data observed on the dark web by cyber threat intelligence company Cyberint.

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