Friday, May 27, 2016

Hackers that Targeted Bangladesh have attacked other Asian banks

swift hackers, bank hackers

Hackers that are responsible for the $81 million heist from Bangladesh's central bank have been linked to other cyber attacks on a bank in the Philippines, in addition to the 2014 hack on Sony Pictures, according to cybersecurity company Symantec Corp.

A senior executive at Mandiant, the cybersecurity company investigating the Bank Bangladesh heist said that the hackers has also broken into other banks in Southeast Asia.

On a blog post by Symantec, they did not name which Philippine bank or say that if money has been stolen. However, they said that the attacks could be traced back to October last year. They also did not identify the hackers.

The Philippines central bank's deputy governor, Nestor Espenilla, told Reuters that no bank in the country had lost money to hackers, although he did not rule out the possibility of cyber attacks.

Marshall Heilman, vice president for Mandiant, a part of U.S.-based FireEye (FEYE.O), said it was not known whether any money was lost in the other attacks he described or whether the hackers had been successfully blocked.

"There is a group operating in Southeast Asia that definitely understands the bank industry and is at more than one location," he said.

Heilman declined to identify the country or countries, or the institutions attacked. He said it was the same group as the one involved in the Bank Bangladesh theft and that the attacks were recent, but declined to be more specific.

Central banks in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and East Timor) refused to make any comment or denied knowledge of any other breaches.

There have been at least four known cyber attacks against a bank involving fraudulent messages on the SWIFT payments network, one dating back to 2013. SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, urged banks this week to bolster their security, saying it was aware of multiple attacks.

Banks around the world use secure SWIFT messages for issuing payment instructions to each other.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

US Dollar is Up, Asian stocks and gold are Down

US Dollar, feds, Federal Reserves, money, finance, business

Due to the possibility of another interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve as early as June it push the US dollar sharply higher against major Asian currencies Thursday, with the Chinese yuan at its weakest level since February and the Japanese Yep losing its recent gains. The U.S. dollar index rallied to a two-month high.

Experts didn't expect the possibility of an interest-rate increase in June, but the latest Federal Reserve minutes, along with a batch of strong economic data, have changed that view.

Asian currencies falls into multi-month lows as traders adjusted positions to reflect the interest-rate expectations. The Indonesian rupiah fall to its three-month low, as did Thailand’s baht, while the South Korea won, the Philippine peso and the Singapore dollar fall into two-month low against the U.S. dollar.  The rise of the U.S. dollar also weakened the Japanese yen by nearly 1%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fall 1%, South Korea market fall by 0.6% while Australia were down by 0.8%.

Meanwhile, gold which are inversely correlated to monetary policy easing, fell 0.1% to a three-week low $1256 per ounce.

The stronger dollar also weighed on commodities such as oil, with U.S. crude futures losing 0.4% to $48.00 a barrel. A stronger dollar tends to put non-U.S. buyers of greenback-denominated commodities at a disadvantage.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell to as low as $4563.50 overnight, the weakest since Feb. 19.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Asian shares ends lower ahead of closely watched US jobs report

asian stock, finance, economy

Asian markets are on the down trend on Friday as investors braced for the closely watched U.S. jobs-report that may influence interest rate decisions and the value of the U.S. dollar.

European markets are also expected to open for lower, with financial spreadbetter IG expecting Britain's FTSE 100 to fall 0.2% and Germany's DAX to start the day down 0.4%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.9%, set for a weekly decline of 3.2%, the biggest drop in 12 weeks.

Japan's Nikkei, which resumed trading after being closed for holidays ("Golden Week" national holidays) since Tuesday, lost 0.3% to 16,106.72 as the yen's strength renewed concerns about corporate profits.

China's Shanghai Composite index was down 1.6%, wiping out most gains for the week.

Hong Kong shares retreated 1.2%, that puts their weekly loss to 4.1%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.3% higher to 5,358.60,

Wall Street shares were mixed on Thursday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index's slight 0.02% drop nevertheless sending it to a three-week low. Dow Jones industrial average rose 9.45 points, or less than 0.1%, to 17,660.71.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast Friday's payrolls data will show U.S. employers added 202,000 workers in April following a 215,000 increase in March, with the jobless rate holding at 5.0 percent.

But job-related data published over the past couple of days has been softer than market expectations, casting a shadow on expectations of solid job growth.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 33 cents to $43.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 54 cents on Thursday to $44.32 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 29 cents at $44.72 a barrel in London.