Security has been one of the main issues when it comes to finance and the Internet, and when the two are combined, security becomes a really big issue. However, the conventional financial system has always had problems, and some consider it to be worse in the ones that have sprung up online. One of the latest communications which were sent out by SWIFT to its member banks seems to highlight this point.
SWIFT is one of the leading global banking networks, and it helps in facilitating transfer of funds between various banks across the globe. The notice that the network sent to its member banks noted the high number of hacking attempts on the banks in the recent weeks. The notification called members to elevate their security systems, because of the increased number of cyber attacks.
This is not the first time that SWIFT is alarming banks about potential hacks and security incidents. It had already asked banks to create measures to counter security threats back when the Bank of Bangladesh had $81 million taken from them. Hackers who have been targeting the system have been successful, in a way, by illegally authorizing some of the fund transfers using the SWIFT system.
The original SWIFT letter to its members had noted that more and more attempts had been made to compromise the system. There had also been attempts to send fraudulent payment instructions to the attackers and their beneficiaries. The organization also noted that the threat was here to stay, and it had been modified and was sophisticated.
However, questions are also looming about the security of the crypto-currencies. The report from the same publication also indicated that since 2010 33 percent of crypto currencies had been susceptible to attack before. There were contrasts made between the conventional banking methods and the online currencies that are on the market right now. One study which was funded by the Department of Homeland Security showed that about 67 banks were attacked and close to 20 security changes had been attacked in the same period also. However, there are also other cases when banks have been attacked but don’t release the information publicly, mostly because the do not want to lose credibility.
This is made clear by the SWIFT message which mentioned that there had been successful attacks on some of its member banks since June 2016, but there had been no mention of these in the media outlets. Therefore, with so much secrecy shrouding bank attacks like this, putting a number on the attacks on conventional banks and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin is difficult. However if is better to trace the cash trail over their blockchain than it is on the conventional banks.
Apparently, the banks which are part of SWIFT have up to November 19, 2016 to upgrade their systems. If any of them fail to do so, then SWIFT will probably report them to the respective regulators and authorities. This seems like a good plan considering people trust banks to keep their money secure and safe from thieves.