The True Monetary Burdens Behind Financial Cyber Crime

Members of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) have seen themselves as the target of many cyber-attacks lately.

Earlier this week, SWIFT sent letters to all of its clients notifying them of new hacking attacks, in light of the earlier attacks that were discovered after a massive cyber takeover of Bangladesh’s Central Bank.

“Customers’ environments have been compromised, and subsequent attempts were made to send fraudulent payment instructions. The threat is persistent, adaptive, and sophisticated, and it’s here to stay,” the letter stated.

“Cybercriminals have ramped up their efforts since the Bangladesh heist, targeting those member banks with weaker security procedures for SWIFT-enabled transfers,” A Brussels based interbank cooperative spokesman said.

SWIFT is still asking members to step up security measures, going as far as threatening to report banks to regulators if they miss the November 19th deadline to implement the latest version of its software. This new software has been designed to prevent hackers from being able to exploit local networks to send these fraud messages that are requesting monetary transfers.

A recent study shows that attacks like these have went up 137% in just a year. That means that roughly $7.00 of every $100.00 in retail transactions are affected.  Digital goods seemed to be favored over all else. Transactions involving the sale of digital goods rose to 186% increased attacks, and a 116% increase in attacks involving food and beverage transactions.

Even bitcoin is seeing the effects of cybercrime. Last month, Bitfinex lost $72 Million in BTC after it was hacked. Bitfinex’s customers lost 36% of all the assets it held on the platform. About 120,000 btc were stolen in the hack, making it one of the largest cryptocurrency breaches in history. Another recent study shows that a third trading platforms like this have been hacked, closing almost half of them within the first six years of operation.

“There is a general sense in the bitcoin community that any centralized repository is at risk. So, when investing, you always have that expectation at the back of your head. I lost a small amount compared to others, but I know of traders who lost millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoins,” a source that wished to remain anonymous, but lose over $1,000 in BTC due to the hack, commented.

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