Cyber criminals may have attempted to siphon off anywhere between 60 million euros and 2 billion euros in fraudulent transfers from at least 60 banks globally, a McAfee and Guardian Analytics study said.
The study highlighted a highly sophisticated, multi-tiered, global financial fraud ring that is comprised of at least a dozen groups use active and passive automated transfer systems to steal high value amounts from high balance accounts.
"This fraud empire, dubbed Operation High Roller, has impacted every class of financial institution: credit union, large global bank and regional bank, using smaller and less detectable automated transactions," McAfee said in a statement.
So far, McAfee estimates the criminals have attempted somewhere between 60 million euros and 2 billion euros in fraudulent transfers from at least 60 banks, it added.
Though Europe has been the primary target for such attacks in the past, the study found the thefts spreading outside Europe, including the US and Colombia.
Though the report does not highlight any Indian banks being targeted by the specific campaigns analysed, but the sophistication and nature of these attacks should be taken as a wake-up call for institutions here, says McAfee CTO Asia Pacific Michael Sentonas.
"Criminals have taken the next step in innovation. There are groups of people conducting this fraudulent activity, learning form one another, selling abilities to each other. It is a message to financial institutions to tweak their fraud models to look for this kind of behavior," he added.
He said the most effective detection technique is to use "anomaly detection solutions" to monitor online behavior.
"These solutions detect activity that is unusual or anomalous when compared to established normal behaviour for each account holder such as payee, speed or frequency of the activity, and other non-transaction activities which typically have taken place during online banking sessions," he added.
Consumers also need to be alert to unexpected changes when performing online banking transactions, Sentonas said.