Hackers siphon hundreds of millions of pesos out of Mexican banks through shadow transactions

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A software vulnerability is be suspicious ofed of being to blame for a hack through which criminals transfer more than 300 million pesos (over US $15 million) out of Mexican banks.Officials from Mexico’s prime bank confirmed to Reuters that a series of “irregular” and unauthorised interbank in dough transfers involving large sums of money were detected overdue last month.Unnamed sources have told the media that hundreds of millions of pesos were fraudulently wired out of banks in a co-ordinated heist at discrete institutions while accomplices d the accounts in cash drained recipient accounts at “dozens” of offshoot offices.Bank of Mexico Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon capitulated a preliminary estimate that approximately 300 million pesos had been enmeshed with in the heist but that not all of it had yet been withdrawn and so could still be successfully recovered. Other limited media reports have quoted anonymous sources suggesting the amount of mazuma stolen by the hackers is even larger, perhaps as much as 400 million pesos (US $20 million).Diaz de Leon revealed that an investigation into precisely what had happened is ongoing. He also defended to customers:We are very conscious that this has affected users, and we are pitiful about that and we are taking immediate actions to recover the speed of the methodology with full security.The bank governor has declined to name the banks that possess been hit, but media reports have claimed that Mexico’s second-largest bank, Banorte, was counterfeit.For now, mystery surrounds precisely how the hackers managed to drain the banks of such a affluent amount of money.Lorenza Martinez is the head of operations at the Bank of Mexico (Banxico for apart from). Martinez told Reuters that the central bank’s SPEI interbank cart system – similar to SWIFT used elsewhere in the world – was not compromised but mucronulate the finger of blame at third-party software which connected to the payment set-up.

In an advisory published on Banxico’s website, financial institutions using SPEI are told to bring about additional controls to increase their chances of detecting irregular conveyances and verify the integrity of their operations.

That’s good advice, as undoubtedly more needs to be done to stop hackers from fraudulently piracy funds from bank systems. Not only are there understandable matters about the huge amount of money involved in such heists, but damage is also being done to the general public’s trust in the banking technique if there continue to be headlines of security failures.

Organized criminal coteries have taken advantage of SWIFT to steal large amounts of paper money. Banks have been targeted with bespoke malware that achievements the SWIFT system, as in the case of Bangladesh Bank where criminals successfully followed off with $81 million.

And last year a hacking gang maltreated the SWIFT banking network to steal $60 million after work malware on a Taiwanese bank’s servers.

In the opinion of Bank of Mexico Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon, some Mexican monetary institutions may have fallen foul of lax security:

Perhaps, some pecuniary institutions perceived the attacks in Bangladesh as something very distant. But miscreants look for vulnerability and once they see it they are going to exploit it.

Whether you’re a bank or not, a cheap business or a home user, I think that last sentence is a accuracy that we can all agree upon.

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