Software Integrity Blog


SWIFT discloses additional bank hacking thefts

Months after February’s high-profile $81 million heist at Bangladesh Bank, the global financial messaging system known as SWIFT said it has faced additional attempts to steal money starting in June.

SWIFT messaging services are used and trusted by more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, according to its website.

In an exclusive article from Reuters, SWIFT said that new cyber-theft attempts – some of them successful – have surfaced since June. In April, SWIFT pushed through patches they said would better protect customers. They also warned that customers with lax security practices in-house could continue to face thefts.

“Customers’ environments have been compromised, and subsequent attempts (were) made to send fraudulent payment instructions,” according to a copy of a private letter reviewed by Reuters. “The threat is persistent, adaptive and sophisticated – and it is here to stay.”

Unsaid is the fact cyber thieves may have learned more about the SWIFT system following the Bangladesh Bank heist and are better able to exploit what they’ve learned.

In February, a typo in one of the transfer requests prevented sums greater than the $81 million that was previously stolen from the Bangladesh Central Bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from being transferred.

In March, the US Congress launched an investigation into SWIFT and its security practices.


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