Cybersecurity

After heists, bank transaction service adds new security feature

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the banking transactions messaging service that hackers used to steal more than $80 million from the central bank of Bangladesh, is adding a new fraud protection system. 

Starting in December, the network will send its member banks summaries of their communications, with a separate summary flagging suspicious transactions. 

{mosads}Hackers attempted to steal more than $1 billion from the Bangladeshi bank by hacking into its systems to request large transfers from foreign accounts. The New York Fed transferred $81 million before the fraudulent activity was noticed. 

The transaction summaries — which SWIFT is calling Daily Validation Reports — will give banks a better chance to see whether messages are being sent in their names and cut off robbers before another large robbery. 

Though the biggest known SWIFT heist, Bangladesh has not been the only one. Similar burglaries have hit banks from the Philippines to New Zealand.  

“Daily Validation Reports will provide a reliable and independent source of information, providing such institutions with an activity lens to help them quickly detect fraud – whether perpetrated by external attackers or by malicious insiders,” said Stephen Gilderdale, the head of SWIFT’s Customer Security Program, in a Monday press release announcing the reports.

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