Security & Fraud

Hackers Targeted Russian Bank Globex’s SWIFT System

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Russian bank Globex revealed that hackers attempted to steal 55 million rubles ($940,000) using the SWIFT international payments messaging system, in the latest attempted cyber heist using fraudulent wire transfer requests.

According to Reuters, Globex President Valery Ovsyannikov said that the attempt occurred last week, but that “customer funds have not been affected.”

Sources said that the bank spotted the attack and was able to prevent the cyber criminals from stealing all the funds they had sought. A report said the hackers only withdrew about $100,000.

The SWIFT messaging system is used to transfer trillions of dollars each day. Last month, the company warned that the threat of digital heists is on the rise, although security controls implemented after last year’s $81 million heist at Bangladesh’s central bank have helped to stop many of those attempts.

“We take cyber security very seriously, and we investigate all threats very seriously, taking all appropriate actions to mitigate any risks and protect our services,” SWIFT said in a statement. “There is no evidence to suggest that there has been any unauthorized access to SWIFT’s network or messaging services.”

While SWIFT hasn’t disclosed the number of attacks or identified any victims, details on some cases have become public, including attacks on Taiwan’s Far Eastern International Bank and Nepal’s NIC ASIA Bank.

Shane Shook, a cyber expert who has helped investigate some hacks targeting the SWIFT messaging network, said that at least seven distinct groups have been launching such attacks for at least five years, but most go unreported.

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