Date
29 May 2017
Hackers who targeted Bangladesh central bank (pictured here) earlier this year appear to have taken aim now at a Philippines bank, according to a cyber security firm. Photo: Reuters
Hackers who targeted Bangladesh central bank (pictured here) earlier this year appear to have taken aim now at a Philippines bank, according to a cyber security firm. Photo: Reuters

Bangladesh bank hackers linked to Philippines attack

Hackers who stole US$81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank have been linked to another cyber attack, this time on a bank in the Philippines.

According to Internet security firm Symantec, malware code has been found at a Philippines bank, suggesting that it was targeted by hackers trying to siphon money using the SWIFT payment network.

The Philippines bank was not identified.

According to a blog post by Symantec, the hackers were also linked to a data breach at Sony Pictures Entertainment that took place in 2014.

Symantec said it had identified three pieces of malware that were used in limited targeted attacks against financial institutions in Southeast Asia, Reuters reported.

The attackers were able to infiltrate the bank’s computers but there was no evidence of money being stolen.

One of the malicious programs has been previously associated with a hacking group known as Lazarus, which has been linked to the devastating attack on Sony’s Hollywood studio in 2014.

If confirmed, the Philippines incident would represent the fourth known cyber-attack against a bank involving fraudulent SWIFT messages, Reuters noted.

Banks use secure SWIFT messages for issuing payment instructions to each other.

In February, hackers broke into Bangladesh central bank computers and made fraudulent transfers totaling US$81 million out of the bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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RA/RC

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