City Union loses $2 million in cyberattack, retrieves half - <b>Technical Lobby</b>

Saturday, February 17, 2018

City Union loses $2 million in cyberattack, retrieves half

About $2 million was stolen from City Union Bank accounts last week after a cyberattack compromised the SWIFT messaging system with payment instructions being sent to other banks in multiple jurisdictions. The bank detected the transactions while reconciling accounts and about half the money has been retrieved, it said.
City Union loses $2 million in cyberattack, retrieves half
The payments were later traced to Turkey, China and Dubai.“It’s a cyberattack. Since our reconciliation system is very tight we could catch the attack in three attempts,” said City Union Bank managing director N Kamakodi.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) said it wouldn’t be able to comment on specific cases. It’s been in the news recently owing to the Punjab National Bank fraud case, which is said to have involved transactions being conducted through SWIFT and excluded from the bank’s internal systems, thus escaping scrutiny for seven years.

“SWIFT does not comment on individual customers or entities,” it told ET with regard to the alleged City Union Bank theft. “When a case of potential fraud is reported to us, we offer our assistance to the affected user to help secure its environment.”

The global messaging system enables trillions of dollars in transfers every day. The Reserve Bank of India had issued an advisory to banks and alerted them to the possibility of cyberattacks targeting SWIFT in the country. 

In the past year, at least four government-owned banks have been hit by cyberattacks aimed at creating fake trade documents that could be used to raise finance abroad or facilitate dealing in banned items.

According to finance ministry data, the top 51 banks in India have lost Rs 485 crore between April 2013 and November 2016 through cyber fraud. Of this, 56% stemmed from net-banking theft and card cloning. At least 15 ransomware attacks take place every hour in the country with one in three Indians fall prey to them.
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