Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday requested that government agencies review the nation’s information security after Far Eastern International Bank (遠東商銀) reported that its system was hacked earlier in the week.
The premier was fully briefed on the incident and instructed the government to learn from the case and tighten information security by closing vulnerabilities, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
Far Eastern on Friday said it reported to the Financial Supervisory Commission that malware had been implanted in its computer system, which affected some of its PCs and servers, as well as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network.
Photo: Chiu Chun-fu, Taipei Times
SWIFT is a members-only organization that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members via a standardized proprietary communications platform, which can facilitate the transmission of information about financial transactions.
Through the malware, hackers conducted virtual transactions to move funds totaling nearly US$60 million from Far Eastern clients’ accounts to foreign destinations such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the US, the bank found on Tuesday.
However, the bank said that due to its efforts to trace back the lost funds, the cyberattack cost the bank less than US$500,000.
As efforts to trace the lost funds by underpinning certain fund movements continue, the loss could be reduced to zero, it added.
The hacking did not lead to any leaks of client information, Far Eastern said.
Far Eastern vice president Liu Lung-kuang (劉龍光) yesterday told reporters that the origin of the malware has not been confirmed, but added that the bank is sure that the malicious software used to attack the transaction system is a new variety that had never been seen before.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau yesterday said that it has launched an investigation into the cyberattack and requested that the bank submit details about its computer operations after it reported the case to the bureau on Thursday.
The bureau said it has also informed the International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol, of the case and asked for assistance.
Due to the international assistance, the bureau said Far Eastern’s losses are expected to be less than US$500,000, adding that similar hacking cases were reported in Vietnam and Bangladesh in 2015 and last year.
It was the first case in which malware was implanted into a Taiwanese bank’s computer network to transfer massive amounts of funds out of clients’ accounts.
The commission said that it was an isolated case, adding that no other incidents have been reported in the nation.
Far Eastern will have to shoulder all of the responsibility for the incident and bear all possible losses so that its clients’ interests will not be affected, the commission said.
The commission said it has asked Far Eastern to submit a comprehensive report on the incident to determine whether the bank should face regulatory punishment.
The commission has asked all banks in the nation to tighten controls on transactions during the ongoing four-day Double Ten National Day holiday.
‘HONORED’: The DPP’s Lin Fei-fan said friends working in the foreign media, the diplomatic corps and at think tanks congratulated him for making the sanctions list The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday slammed China for sanctioning Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and six other Taiwanese officials for being “diehard separatists,” saying its attempt to intimidate Taiwanese would backfire. China has no authority to dictate the actions of Taiwanese, because Taiwan is a democratic nation that upholds the rule of law, and would never yield to intimidation and threats from an authoritarian regime, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency earlier yesterday reported that the Taiwan Work Office of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee has imposed
ORDNANCE: Under a five-year plan, the Chungshan Institute would make about 200 Hsiung Feng II and III/IIIE, and Hsiung Sheng missiles, an official said The Ministry of National Defense plans to counter the Chinese navy by producing more than 1,000 anti-ship missiles over the next five years, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The comments came after China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy began a series of military drills in a simulated naval blockade of Taiwan proper following a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Although China has in the past few years rapidly produced many warships and added them to its navy, these large vessels are more suited for warfare on the open sea than in the narrow
THAI ASSISTANCE: The representative office in Thailand worked with local authorities to help trafficking victims return home, while one in the group has been charged Eight Taiwanese who were lured to Cambodia with lucrative job offers only to be forced to work illegally were brought home on Sunday night in a joint effort between Taiwanese and Thai authorities, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said. Nine people — six men and three women aged 23 to 42 — boarded China Airlines Flight CI-836 from Bangkok, with assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 9:55pm and were taken to the Aviation Police Bureau for questioning before entering home isolation in accordance with Taiwan’s COVID-19 regulations. The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday
The organizers of WorldPride 2025 have canceled the Kaohsiung event because its licensing group, InterPride, demanded that it remove “Taiwan” from the event’s name, they said in a statement yesterday. Kaohsiung was to host WorldPride Taiwan 2025 after being granted the right by the global LGBTQ advocacy group. However, the WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee said that InterPride recently gave “abrupt notice” asking it to change the name of the event and use “Kaohsiung” instead of “Taiwan,” even though it applied for the event using “Taiwan” in its name. The name was initially chosen for its significance to the Taiwanese LGBTQ community, as