14:04 GMT +322 July 2018
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    US regulators are currently investigating a group of hackers they think broke into corporate email accounts to access confidential insider information they could use to make profitable stock market trades.

    Russia’s Swift Alternative Looks Tempting After Hackers Steal Millions

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    The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) has been engulfed by a wave of cyber attacks where criminals have been able to steal tens of millions of dollars from banks in Bangladesh, Ecuador and Vietnam.

    It was reported that $81 million was taken from a Bangladesh bank in February and $9 million from a bank in Ecuador at the end of 2015 by thieves using forged requests to transfer money, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Late last week, the money transfer service alerted banks around the world that they should report any unauthorized access to the system immediately.

    “We specifically remind all users to respect their obligations to immediately inform Swift of any suspected fraudulent use of their institution’s Swift connectivity or related to Swift products and services,” the company wrote in a message to their clients.

    Swift, a global member-owned cooperative, based in Belgium, also stated that its services, network, and software were not compromised. It stated that steps were being taken, along with specific measures to reduce cyber attacks. The network service explained that from now on it would notify customers immediately of any known cases of malware, and that it would share best practices to improve security.

    In 2009, hackers broke into the system after sending millions of fake emails to businesses around the world, wrote The Wall Street Journal. “Recipients who clicked on the link downloaded malware that allowed criminals to capture the user’s credentials as they entered the bank’s website,” it stated.

    “I’m fairly confident other breaches are [currently] taking place,” said Bryce Boland, Asia-Pacific chief technology officer for FireEye Inc., a cybersecurity firm, to the Journal. “We are seeing the same threat actors target some of our customers,” he said.

    The incidents have highlighted the fact that the banking network may not be as secure as it was once thought to be. Russia proposed an alternative to Swift last year as part of an effort among BRIC nations to create a transfer service that provides better security and is free of disruption.

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    Tags:
    cyberattack, hackers, hacking, cybersecurity, FireEye Inc, Bryce Boland
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