Connect with us

CCN

Banks Still Losing Money through SWIFT Attacks

Published

on

SWIFT

It has been half a year since the now infamous bank heist that saw the Bangladesh Central Bank lose over $80 million from its New York Federal Reserve account. Hackers were able to exploit the bank’s lax security framework with SWIFT transfers, at the time. Things haven’t changed much, SWIFT privately disclosed to its client banks.

SWIFT, the co-operative owned by banks and responsible for connecting the global banking system is urging its clients to improve their security framework after privately disclosing that cyber-heists are still costing its member banks.

The attacks are fundamentally targeting the banks’ connectivity to the SWIFT messaging network, particularly those with a vulnerable security framework. Still, it’s plenty embarrassing for SWIFT, which has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons lately.

The financial messaging network added that many of the attacks since February have been thwarted due to the newly introduced security procedures mandated by SWIFT, following the high-profile heist. However, new cyber-heist attempts have been successful, SWIFT said.

An excerpt from the private letter, obtained by Reuters, read:

Customers’ environments have been compromised, and subsequent attempts [were] made to send fraudulent payment instructions. The threat is persistent, adaptive and sophisticated – and it is here to stay.

The private letter, sent out to 11,000 members, did not reveal the banks who fell prey to the most recent attacks. While the letter added that banks had lost money, it did not reveal how much, either. The targeted banks had one thing in common, “they all had particular weaknesses in their local security,” SWIFT added.

Also read: Panicking SWIFT Urges Banks to Report Cyber Heists

The letter also indicated that banks around the world are being targeted. “The customers that have been targeted have varied in size and geography; used diversity connectivity methods and a range of interfaces from different vendors,” the letter stated.

Time for That Software Update

The non-profit cooperative is having a particularly hard time enforcing the new security measures among its member banks due to a lack of regulatory oversight. Since the Bangladesh heist, SIWFT developed a more stringent security process for authenticating transfer requests. Predictably, the SWIFT software has also seen updates but, amazingly, not every bank has installed it.

As a result, the private letter has issued a threat saying the network might report banks to regulators if they fail to update to the latest version of the software before the deadline on November 19.

SWIFT has repeatedly insisted that its core messaging service remains secure, pointing to the banks’ local framework for the security shortcomings that sees banks connected to the world’s financial messaging system, repeatedly targeted and exploited by malicious hackers.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsSamburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.




Feedback or Requests?

Bitcoin

ChronoPay Looks to Kickstart Bitcoin Adoption in Russia

Published

on

ChronoPay, one of Russia’s oldest online payments providers, is including bitcoin to its payment gateway, enabling all of its clients to accept the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

“I have publicly criticized bitcoin in the past,” stated ChronoPay founder and chief executive Pavel Vrublevsky, in a phone call with CCN & Hacked today. The former bitcoin skeptic, a controversial figure, has since changed his opinion on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “I apologize to everyone – I’ve changed my point of view radically,” he wrote in a public post today, after having “thoroughly studied the subject.”

Established in 2003, ChronoPay is among Russia’s earliest online payment companies. The Moscow-based company is plugged into international payment platforms like VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro and other regional payment systems. Bitcoin will now be among them.

“It’s already enabled,” Vrublevsky tells CCN & Hacked when asked when the company plans begin supporting bitcoin payments on its gateway.

It is like any other payment method. There will be a bitcoin button next to other payment options during a transaction.

To facilitate payments with the cryptocurrency, Vrublevsky reveals that his company will also provide bitcoin wallets for merchants. A representative for the company revealed that tens of thousands of merchants, “from tiny t-shirt online shops to national industry leaders” are among its clientele.

In particular, two of Russia’s four largest mobile operators are ChronoPay clients, including MTS and Tele2 – the former which is the country’s biggest mobile operator with some 70 million users (2012 figures).

“We are working with 2 of Russia’s largest telecom companies,” confirmed Vrublevsky, who revealed that the billion dollar corporations were interested in bitcoin.

Vrublevsky said of the two telecom giants:

It’s not just about blockchain, they’re interested in the possibility of bitcoin payments.

ChronoPay’s vast clientele includes major retail stores including the likes of Holodilnik.ru; Kupivip.ru, Sony.ru and even BMW.ru. Major news organizations like Kommersant, TheMoscowTimes and Interfax are also clients, as are charity organizations like Greenpeace and WWF among others.

The U-Turn

Such a move by the telecom giants would be significant to be sure, if only because Russian authorities have long harbored an aggressive stance toward bitcoin adopters in the country. This time last year, the Russian Finance Ministry was pushing its bill through the Russian parliament to criminalize and ban bitcoin usage in the country. Indeed, the FinMin proposed a 2-year prison term in February 2016, only to amend it to a 7-year prison term a month later in March. The bill never went through.

Russia’s deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev has since talked about acknowledging bitcoin in a legal capacity in 2018. Vrublevsky says legalization could be even sooner.

He stated:

The central bank last week announced draft legislation for bitcoin as a commodity. Bitcoin could be legalized this autumn.

“It is a complete U-turn”, added Vrublevsky, referring to the shift in bitcoin’s perception from the central bank, much like his own roundabout.

The reversal in bitcoin’s previously fickle future in Russia has seen the likes of Russia’s largest online retailer, Ulmart, planning to begin accepting bitcoin come September this year. It is all the more remarkable that the retailer was told off by Russia’s central bank from accepting bitcoin payments merely three months ago in February.

Workaround

Still, it’s too early for big companies to show their hand in accepting bitcoin. While ChronoPay will enable bitcoin payments to all its clients, only those with their own bitcoin wallets – also provided by ChronoPay – will be able to accept the cryptocurrency. Big industry giants, like MTS, aren’t among them.

Vrublevsky says he is in the process of circumventing the hurdle, by establishing a workaround in the bitcoin-friendly jurisdiction of Netherlands. “I’m looking at options, possibly establishing a company in Netherlands where it will be safe for companies to have their own bitcoin wallets.”

‘ICOs Changed Everything’

The executive is adamant that the possibilty of raising money from new fundraising mechanisms like ICOs where future coins are exchanged with cryptocurrecies for immediate value. This has awoken companies to the possibility of efficient, easier funding and are in-turn, looking at cryptocurrencies in a new light, according to Vrublevsky, who made a pointed example of HumanIQ ICO. “I’m pushing ChronoPay toward bitcoin and blockchain technologies,” he said, revealing his own plans for an ICO in the future.

The executive is also planning to establish a bitcoin exchange in Russia in the future, presumably when the legislation allows for it.

For now, the bitcoin skeptic-turned-enabler is excited about bringing bitcoin payments to the mainstream in Russia.

“It’s funny,” he tells CCN & Hacked after calling us back following an earlier conversation today.

We are a big storm today in Russia, a storm unlike any in years. I’d like to think it’s because of our bitcoin annnouncement.

This article was brought to you by Hacked.com and CCN.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsSamburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Could Digital Currencies Become a Target in the Fight Against Ransomware?

Published

on

According to a former assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, tackling the rise in ransomware attacks could see action taken against hard-to-trace digital currencies such as bitcoin.

In the last year, there has been an increase in the number of ransomware attacks.

Earlier this year, a Canadian university had to pay bitcoin to malicious hackers so that it could access its computer systems after a cyberattack denied access to its data. In February, a Hollywood hospital was the target of ransomware attack and had to pay $17,000 in bitcoins to the extortionists.

Unsurprisingly, due to the rise in ransomware attacks, banks are now keeping hold of bitcoins to pay ransom demands in case they become targeted by a cyberattack.

Speaking to Business Insider, David S. Kris, former assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division said that:

I think the way to attack this – and I think the way you’re probably going to see some legal change over the next few years – is on the other end, with respect to the payments.

According to the tech firm Kaspersky Lab, this summer has seen a rise in the number of cyberattack victims. In 2014-2015, the number was around 131,000, but in 2015-2016 it had risen to an alarming 718,000, as reported by Business Insider.

A report from CCN last month found that, according to Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, a Kaspersky Lab ZAO researcher, criminals employ ransomware because it’s easier to launch and because it’s more profitable compared to breaking into computers to steal funds through online banking.

Unfortunately, with various companies and organizations being targeted by ransomware attacks, it seems as though the threat from hackers is not going away anytime soon.

With the wide use of digital currencies making it easier for criminals to demand ransom payments coupled with a low risk of being caught, the use of digital currencies such as bitcoin will also continue for now.

Featured image from iStock/skodonnell.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...





Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Crypto-Crooks Steal Monero Using Compromised FTP Server Swarm

Published

on

Cyber-thieves are making away with the cryptocurrency Monero after compromising file transfer protocol servers with a malware that exploits its target’s CPU and power resources.

(more…)

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

Rate this post:

Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way.
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

4 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsSamburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.




Feedback or Requests?

Continue Reading

5 of 15 Seats Available

Learn more here.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

A part of CCN

Hacked.com is Neutral and Unbiased

Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

Trending