Security & Fraud

Attempted Cyberattack Cost Turkish Bank $4M

Turkey Akbank Cyberattack

Turkey’s Akbank financial institution was targeted by hackers via the SWIFT global money transfer system earlier this month. While the bank confirmed no customer data was compromised by the threat, the maximum risk Akbank will face is $4 million, Reuters reported.

Akbank is the country’s third-largest bank, and it was unclear how much, if any, money was stolen as a result of the attack.

In a statement, the bank confirmed it has taken preventative measures since discovering the attack, and authorities were notified of what took place. As of Thursday (Dec. 15), the bank’s systems were operating normally without any loss to customers.

The global interbank messaging system SWIFT, which is used to move trillions of dollars each day and has quickly become a prime target of hackers, experienced yet another attack by a hacking group just months ago.

According to a report from cybersecurity firm Symantec, the attack mirrored tactics used by the unidentified group that orchestrated an $81 million hack of Bangladesh’s central bank earlier this year.

The new group, called Odinaff, is believed to be compromised of 10–20 organizations armed with malware that can hide fraudulent transfer requests in the SWIFT system. The release comes as no surprise, considering SWIFT warned customers and global banks earlier this year that attacks were on the rise.

“The emergence of new possible instances of compromise is not entirely surprising given that banks should now be undertaking rigorous reviews of their environments. Many may turn out to be false positives and/or have nothing to do with SWIFT messages, but it is key that these reviews take place and banks’ environments are secured,” the Brussels-based interbank cooperative said in a statement in May.

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