What is special about a Cyber Crime?

Crimes committed through networks or devices are Fraud and Identity Theft.  But it is in Cyber Crimes we see more usage of malware, hacking and/or phishing wherein both ends of the computers are made as targets and tools for committing the crime.

Incidentally it is interesting to note that the cyber thieves who made attempts to steal 170 million dollars from an Indian Bank last July have used the methods that matches with the modus operandi in the successful theft operation of 81 million dollars from a Bangladesh’s Central Bank, as per reports available.  It might be recalled that it was on May 19, 2016 that the hackers sent fraudulent messages, apparently from the central bank in Dhaka, on the SWIFT system, to the New York Federal Reserve seeking to transfer nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank’s account there.  Here, most of the transfers were blocked but about $81 million was sent to a bank in the Philippines. It was moved to casinos and casino agents and much of it is missing.

The experts feel that the several of such crimes in the recent days have been found at various financial institutions around world, including banks in US, Mexico, Poland and UK.  Many are revealed to be having links with North Korea.  To quote a few:

  1. Union Bank Of India’s EQUNIONBANK 1.69 computer system was affected with malware, which permitted the thieves to authenticate transfer of 170 million dollars from bank’s account in New York to private acconts at five different locations. Alertness of the bankers could see the Indian Lender to avoid the money being released.
  2. People who are on investigation of the Indian cyber crime, add that similar tactics has been used by the hackers to steal around 1 billion dollars, from the Bangladesh’s account at the Federal Bank during Feb last year. It was found to be with lot of spelling mistakes and formatting mistakes which prompted the Federal officials to block part of the withdrawals, however, the hackers could siphon around 81 million dollars, and shifted it to Philippines.

Incidentally, the attack on Union Bank started during July last year, when an employee happened to open an e mail attachment which appeared to have emanated from the Indian Central Bank.  This in turn activated a malware which permitted the hacker to steal Union Bank’s International messaging codes, which is used to authorize cross-border transactions known as SWIFT.


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