Friday, December 11, 2009

Bank Firewalls Cracked by Cyber Hackers

Joe Menn writes in The Financial Times:

For more than a decade the common currency among cybercriminals has been pilfered credit card numbers, but some underground hackers have learned how to drain money directly from corporate bank accounts.

There has been a big rise in such frauds, raising the stakes in the war between financial institutions and criminals and costing some bank clients half a million dollars – or more.

The cyberhackers “are clearly ahead of the defence in terms of antivirus solutions, firewall solutions, etc,” Jeffrey Troy, chief of the FBI’s cybercrime section, told the Financial Times. Online bank thefts in 2009 had seen “a very dramatic increase from past years”.

Law enforcement warnings, recent reports from private security experts and lawsuits are focusing attention on the issue. Some professionals, citing the ongoing boom in virus infections through such social networks as Facebook and Twitter, fear the trends could combine in 2010.

Mr Troy estimated that criminals took about $40m from bank accounts this year, primarily targeting the small and mid-sized businesses that are themselves customers of small and mid-sized banks.

More here.


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