Cyber Threats in the Global Financial System

These days even traditional havens of safety aren't safe, as recent events in Bangladesh central bank's hack have shown. Hacks in not only high profile government institutions but even leading corporates like Sony, JP Morgan Chase, eBay and Target show that firms have to be better prepared to battle more sophisticated cyber-attacks. Is Bitcoin's BlockChain technology a possible solution?

Times of India reports that SWIFT, the global financial network that banks use to transfer billions of dollars everyday, warned its customers on Monday that it was aware of "a number of recent cyber incidents" where attackers had sent fraudulent messages over its system. The disclosure came as law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh and elsewhere investigated the February cybertheft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. SWIFT has acknowledged that the scheme involved altering SWIFT software on Bangladesh Bank's computers to hide evidence of fraudulent transfers.

Monday's statement from SWIFT marked the first acknowledgement that the Bangladesh Bank attack was not an isolated incident but one of several recent criminal schemes that aimed to take advantage of the global messaging platform used by some 11,000 financial institutions. "SWIFT is aware of a number of recent cyber incidents in which malicious insiders or external attackers have managed to submit SWIFT messages from financial institutions' back-offices, PCs or workstations connected to their local interface to the SWIFT network," the group warned customers on Monday in a notice seen by Reuters.

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