Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Banks tell us about hackers after they are caught

A number of very interesting stories about how people hacked into banking systems was published recently.

The first was about an arrest of a teenage hacker in New Zealand who supposedly headed up a gang of cyber-crooks that managed to steal about $20 million through fraudulent transactions. Read more here.
Teenage hacker (Finextra). Another one is the story of Alistair Peterson who over a period of two years managed to steal almost R 10 million off South African banks. He used an elaborate mechanism with mules to achieve this undetected for a long time. Read more here. Also the story about the HSBC clerk who got caught in an attempt to steal £ 72 million from the bank. Read more here.

The fact that all three these stories broke almost at the same time, made me conclude the following:

  • Internet banking fraud is alive and well and being practiced everywhere in the world where banks exist
  • Banks tell us about the crooks that they catch so that we know about the loopholes and can defend against them
  • But they don't tell us about the crooks that they don't catch, for obvious reasons: it may lead to a lack of confidence in the banking systems. But how many of them do not get caught and how prevalent is Internet banking hacking really?

No comments: