Report: Asian Banking Hacks Linked to North Korean Software Code
Software code used in recent attacks on banks—including a high-profile Bangladesh attack that resulted in the theft of approximately $81 million—comes from the North Korean government, according to security experts quoted in the New York Times. Researchers from digital security vendor Symantec told the newspaper that “a rare piece of code” used in three bank hacking attacks were also employed in the December 2014 hacking incident involving Sony Pictures and 2013 attacks on South Korean financial institutions and media firms. Authorities in the U.S. and South Korea have said that code originated in North Korea.
Among the Asian bank attacks were one in October targeting a financial institution in the Philippines, one in December against a bank in Vietnam, and one in February against the central bank of Bangladesh. That Bangladesh bank hacking resulted in a theft of approximately $81 million.
SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt announced a five-part customer security program that could better defend against bank hackings and theft. In announcing the plans, which covers such areas as information sharing and “payment pattern controls” to identify suspicious behavior, he used the Bangladesh hack as a backdrop.