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Round Two: SWIFT Reports Another Bank Attack

For the second time this year, SWIFT is reporting another cyber-attack on a commercial bank.  In a notice issued this morning, SWIFT said that attackers with a “deep and sophisticated knowledge of specific operational controls” attempted to submit fraudulent messages to the SWIFT network to transfer large amounts of cash from an unidentified bank.

In a blog post earlier today, the cybersecurity unit at BAE Systems said the attack was against a bank in Vietnam.  At this point, it isn’t clear if any funds were compromised in the attack.

SWIFT urged members to “urgently review controls in their payment environments, to all their messaging, payments and e-banking channels.”

In February, hackers hit the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, siphoning $81 million via multiple wire transfers.  SWIFT warned that the two attacks were similar and likely part of a “wider and adaptive campaign targeting banks.”

SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – is a global messaging system used by 11,000 financial institutions to send fund transfer instructions that move billions of dollars each day.