Swift, the vital global financial network that western financial services companies, institutions and banks use for all payments and transfer billions of dollars every day, warned its customers yesterday evening that it was aware of cyber fraud and a number of recent “cyber incidents” where attackers had sent fraudulent messages over its system and $81 million was apparently stolen from a central bank.
As reported by Reuters, the disclosure came as law enforcement agencies investigate the February cyber theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Swift has acknowledged that the scheme involved altering Swift software on Bangladesh Bank’s computers to hide evidence of fraudulent transfers.
Yesterday’s statement from Swift marked the first acknowledgement that the cyber attack on the New York Federal Reserve Bank was not an isolated incident but one of several recent criminal schemes that aimed to take advantage of the global messaging platform used by some 11,000 financial institutions.
Cyber security experts said more attacks could surface as SWIFT’s banking clients look to see if their SWIFT access has been compromised.
Shane Shook, a banking security consultant who investigates large financial crime, said hackers were turning to SWIFT and other private financial messaging platforms because such attacks can generate more revenue than going after consumers or small businesses.
…Given these real risks, tangible gold becomes not important but a vital means of preserving wealth. Physical gold coins and bars, due to their tangible nature, are not vulnerable to crises that may afflict electronic digital currency and other digital wealth.
Those who hold physical gold and silver coins and bars outside the banking system as an insurance policy would certainly weather the storm better than those who do not.
The hope is that these risks will not materialise. Hope is not a strategy. We believe it is prudent to be aware of and take appropriate measures to protect your wealth.
Our modern western financial system with its massive dependency on single interface websites, servers and the internet faces serious risks that few analysts have yet to appreciate and evaluate. These also pose risks to digital gold providers who do not allow clients to interact and trade on the phone and are solely reliant on online trading platforms.
Jim Rickards, the leading expert on currency wars and risks posed by cyber fraud to people’s, company’s and indeed nation’s wealth commented to GoldCore about the cyber theft:
“Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. $100 million of their money disappeared. The money was on deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the safest bank in the world. The culprits hacked SWIFT, one of the most secure message traffic systems in the world. If the Fed and SWIFT aren’t safe, nothing is safe. If Bangladesh had held physical gold, they would still have their money. The case for owning gold in an age of cyber-financial threats is compelling.”
Full article: Cyber Fraud At SWIFT – $81 Million Stolen From Central Bank (GoldCore)