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.

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