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In one of the biggest cyber-heists of all time, a hacker group has stolen  $1 billion from banks around the world. A report delivered to The New York Times from a Russian security company, says that the group includes members from Russia, China, and Europe. The unidentified gang has been active since 2013, and stolen from more than 100 banks in 30 different countries.

The hackers used malware on banks' computers, impersonated bank officers with fake credentials for transfers, and programmed ATMs to dispense money at specific times. Supposedly they limited their theft to $10 million before setting up an operation on a different bank—because banks apparently don't notice transactions under $10 million! Small potatoes.

A Russian security researcher told The Associated Press that every day citizens were safe from the attack, "The attacks are unusual because they target the banks themselves rather than customers and their account information," Vicente Diaz, of Kapersky Security, said. "The goal seems to be financial gain rather than espionage." So they've got a little bit of a hero streak in 'em. They're not Robin Hood, but at least they're not robbin' us.

Most of the targets have been in Russia, the U.S., Germany, China and Ukraine, although the attackers may be expanding throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, the Kaspersky report says.

Kaspersky did not identify the banks and is still working with law-enforcement agencies to investigate the attacks, which the company says are ongoing, and no bank has publicly acknowledged the theft yet.

As the hackers are withdrawing money from the banks, and not customers, nor customer information, we are sure that investigation into this hacking team is a top priority for governments worldwide. 

[via Associated Press]