Central banks told to review security procedures after cyberhack


A cooperative owned by 3,000 global financial institutions is to ask banks to confirm they are following the correct security procedures following the cyber attack on Bangladesh's central bank that cost $81 million.

The Brussels-based SWIFT messaging system is writing to all the banks to review internal security after the Bangladesh attack. Currently, unknown hackers managed to get into the computer systems of the central bank and attempted to steal $951 million. Some transfers were blocked, but $81 million was transferred to accounts in the Philippines in one of the largest cyber crimes to date.

SWIFT has not talked about the attack except to say that it was an “internal operational issue”, but will be notifying banks to highlight the importance of reviewing security measures and issuing a number of recommendations aimed at stopping hackers. A spokeswoman for SWIFT said: “Our priority at this time is to encourage customers to review and, where necessary, to reinforce their local operating environments.”

The current issue with banks is that the security for each of these central banks are not uniform, making some a lot more vulnerable to attacks. In a report concerning the Bangladesh central bank attack, prepared by FireEye Inc, it was revealed that the attackers managed to take control of the bank's network and used malicious software to attack computers that authorise transactions.

The report indicated that they believed that the hackers had also targeted other banks stating: “FireEye has observed these same suspected FIN threat actors within other customer networks in the financial industry, where these threat actors appear to be financially motivated, and well organised.”

About Lee Hazell

Lee Hazell is a cyber security consultant with a keen interest in anything tech or security related. Follow Lee on .

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