Daily Management Review

Swift developed a plan to combat cybercrime


SWIFT interbank payments system is planning to launch a new safety program after a series of thefts in the system. The new plan to combat cyber threats was presented by SWIFT’s Head Gottfried Leibbrandt on financial services conference in Brussels, reports Financial Times.

SWIFT wants banks to improve the exchange of information, tighten security, and, more likely, to use software that is able to detect fraud during payment. 

In addition to information sharing Swift is going to tighten control over the software that is used by banks to protect themselves. Among other points, the program lists tight security requirements for the software, as well as the introduction of requirements to its suppliers. Finally, the organization intends to introduce a procedure for checking the security systems of financial institutions. So far, however, it remains unclear whether such an audit will be must. According to the representative of the organization, the test procedure would involve a third party.

Last week, media became aware of a theft, which occurred at the beginning of 2015. A request on funds transfer to a bank account in Hong Kong was sent to the Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco through a computer terminal with secure access of Ecuadorian Banco del Austro (BDA) was sent. Wells Fargo has translated. However, later it turned out that the BDA did not send such a request. In total, Wells Fargo transferred $ 12 million of the BDA’s funds in the accounts around the world.

In mid-May 2016, hackers penetrated in the SWIFT interbank payments system once again. This time, the attack was aimed at a commercial bank. The attackers send a message in the system using identifiers of an existing client, so there was no system hacking. 

Earlier this year, hackers sent via SWIFT 35 false indication of funds transfer on behalf of the Central Bank of Bangladesh. The bulk of payments was blocked, but the criminals managed to transfer $ 81 million.

"The cyber threat is great s and cyber-attacks will continue", - stated in Leibbrandt’s draft speech referenced by the Financial Times.

"I think it would be a turning point for the banking sector (the history of which will be divided into). before and after Bangladesh ", - follows from draft speech of SWIFT’s Head.

Leibbrandt promises to "substantially improve the exchange of information between the parties of the global financial community" in the framework of a new plan to combat cyber-attacks. The plan contains five main points, details about it will be announced later this week.

source: ft.com

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