Hackers continue to target the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) bank messaging system, although security controls instituted after last year’s US$81 million heist at Bangladesh’s central bank have helped thwart many attempts, a senior SWIFT official told reporters.
“Attempts continue,” said Stephen Gilderdale, head of SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme, in a phone interview. “That is what we expected. We didn’t expect the adversaries to suddenly disappear.”
SWIFT spokeswoman Natasha de Teran said that the attackers had attempted to hack into computers that banks use to access the organization’s proprietary network, then create fraudulent messages to send over the SWIFT system.
“We have no indication that our network and core messaging services have been compromised,” she said.
The disclosure underscores that banks remain at risk of cyberattacks targeting computers used to access SWIFT almost two years after the theft in February last year from a Bangladesh Bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Gilderdale declined to say how many hacks had been attempted this year, what percentage had been successful, how much money had been stolen, or whether they were growing or slowing down.
On Monday, two people were arrested in Sri Lanka for suspected money laundering from Far Eastern International Bank (遠東國際商業銀行) in Taiwan, the computer system of which was hacked to enable illicit transactions abroad. Police acted after the state-owned Bank of Ceylon reported a suspicious transfer.
SWIFT, a Belgium-based co-operative owned by its user banks, has declined to comment, saying it does not discuss individual entities.
Gilderdale said that some security measures instituted in the wake of the Bangladesh Bank heist had thwarted attempts.
SWIFT had stopped some heists thanks to an update to its software that automatically sends alerts when hackers tamper with data on bank computers used to access the messaging network, he said.
SWIFT shares technical information about cyberattacks and other details on how hackers target banks on a portal open to its members.
Gilderdale was speaking ahead of the organization’s annual Sibos global user conference, which starts on Monday in Toronto.
At the conference, SWIFT will release details of a plan to start offering security data in “machine digestible” formats that banks can use to automate efforts to discover and remediate cyberattacks, he said.
SWIFT will also unveil plans to start sharing that data with outside security vendors so that they can incorporate the information into their products, he said.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be