Hackers divert funds from Mexico banks, amount unclear

Doris Richards
May 16, 2018

In the most famous SWIFT hack, thieves made off with more than $100m (£73m) from the Bank of Bangladesh using falsified transfers that were sent by hacking the bank's internal systems.

The hack does not affect global transfers and transactions either, unless cases where foreign companies use Mexican accounts in the affected banks for payments and transfers.

They they emptied those accounts in cash withdrawals in dozens of branch offices, Reuters reported, citing two sources close to a government investigation.

"There's no evidence that would allow us to say with certainty that this is over", he said.

Mexico's central bank Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon told journalists late Monday that the attack on the payment system was unprecedented and that he hoped that measures being taken would stop future incidents.

He said the amount not accounted for may be between 350 million pesos and 400 million pesos. "We're taking corrective and mitigating action".

The central bank said in a notice in the government's daily gazette that the new unit would design and issue guidelines on information security for the country's banks, which are supervised by the central bank.

He said that the central bank's SPEI interbank transfer system was not compromised but that the problem had to do with software developed by institutions or third-party providers to connect to the payment system.

"In terms of the security of the bank's offices, I think that is part of the analysis that each bank is doing", Martinez told Reuters.

"As the SWIFT Network learned after an attack on a member bank led to a costly breach, it only takes one vulnerability for attackers to gain access to your network and ride in on a trusted connection", he added.

She said the money stolen belonged to the banks themselves and that clients' funds were never affected.

Since then, tens of millions have been stolen from Taiwan's Far Eastern International Bank, as well as lenders in Russian, Ukraine and other countries, all targeting the SWIFT network in some way. "You can always hack into one bank if their systems are vulnerable, but this hits more than one, and the only way to do that is if you control the central managing agency, in this case, Banco de México [Mexico's Central Bank]".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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