Cyber Fraud At SWIFT – $81 Million Stolen From Central Bank

GoldCore's picture

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.

SWIFT_LogoSWIFT (Wikipedia)

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.

“Swift is aware of a number of recent cyber incidents in which malicious insiders or external attackers have managed to submit Swift messages from financial institutions’ back-offices, PCs or workstations connected to their local interface to the Swift network,” the group warned customers.

The warning, which Swift issued in a confidential alert sent over its network, did not name any victims or disclose the value of any losses from the previously undisclosed attacks.

Swift, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is a co-operative owned by 3,000 financial institutions. Also, Swift released a security update to the software that banks use to access its network to thwart malware that security researchers with British defense contractor BAE Systems said was probably used by hackers in the Bangladesh Bank heist.

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.

"These hacks specifically target financial institutions because smaller efforts result in much larger thefts," he said. "It's much more efficient than stealing from consumers."

Full Reuters article is here

We have for some time warned of the risks posed by cyber fraud and war to banks, savings and indeed investments. The apparent theft of $81 million from a central bank from an account at the New York Federal Reserve shows this.

Cyber theft is a real risk for all digital or virtual wealth today – whether that be digital bank accounts and deposits or electronic stock and other exchanges.

Fintech solutions involving the vitally important blockchain cometh and not before time. However, many of these solutions are also vulnerable in the short term as the nascent industry grows and the best solutions survive and thrive and less safe ones are slowly found out by the market and disappear.

The risks posed to bank deposits, markets and indeed all online investments and savings by hacking, cyberterrorism and cyberwar remains not understood.


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."

Recent Market Updates

Gold In London Vaults Beneath Bank of England Worth $248 Billion – BBC

Silver Prices Up 6% This Week and 25% YTD; Gold Up 1% This Week

Gold Price Set To Push Higher As Inflation Picks Up – RBC

Silver Bullion “Has So Much More to Give” – 5 Must See Charts Show

China Gold Bullion Yuan Trading To Boost Power In Gold and FX Markets

Marc Faber: “Messiah” Central Banks Helicopter Money Printing “Will Not End Well”

Gold News and Commentary
Gold ends higher ahead of central bank meetings (Marketwatch)
Gold climbs as dollar lends support ahead of Fed meeting (Reuters)
Gold Rises, Copper Falls as U.S. Home Sales Sag a Third Month (Bloomberg)
Sales of New U.S. Homes Fall for a Third Month on Slump in West (Bloomberg)
China debt load reaches record high as risk to economy mounts (FT via CNBC)

Macro picture sees precious metal shine (FT Adviser)
Gold, already on its way up, may head even higher: Technician (CNBC)
World Witnessed Socialism’s Death … Central Banking Is Next (Gold Seek)
Depression, Debasement, & 100 Years Of Monetary Mismanagement (Zero Hedge)
When will the Fed stop propping up the US stockmarket? (Money Week)
Read More Here

Gold Prices (LBMA)
26 April: USD 1,234.50, EUR 1,093.46 and GBP 847.28 per ounce
25 April: USD 1,230.85, EUR 1,094.08 and GBP 853.79 per ounce
22 April: USD 1,245.40, EUR 1,104.34 and GBP 868.73 per ounce
21 April: USD 1,257.65, EUR 1,113.21 and GBP 877.01 per ounce
20 April: USD 1,247.75, EUR 1,098.09 and GBP 867.45 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)
26 April: USD 16.86, EUR 14.98 and GBP 11.67 per ounce (Not updated yet)
25 April: USD 16.86, EUR 14.98 and GBP 11.67 per ounce
22 April: USD 17.19, EUR 15.26 and GBP 11.96 per ounce
21 April: USD 17.32, EUR 15.31 and GBP 12.05 per ounce
20 April: USD 16.97, EUR 14.93 and GBP 11.81 per ounce

Protecting_Your_Savings_in_the_Coming_Bail_In_Era_-_Copy-3.jpg   Essential_Guide_to_Storing_Gold_in_Singapore.jpg   7_Key_Storage_Must_Haves.png




Read Our Most Popular Guides in Recent Months

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
InnVestuhrr's picture

I wonder how much of the alleged gold that is in vaults or personal possession is actually real gold vs fake ?

Gold Dog's picture

I just checked, wasn't my $81 million. Phew!

oncemore's picture

those GoldCore people spew a pure propaganda. SWIFT did not fail.

SWIFT worked and works properly.

SWIFT was never a problem in case of the $81M. 

ZH starts to publish a rubbish. ZH, would you please do anything to return to the previous quality?

RaceToTheBottom's picture

This happens when you use H1Bs to program the software and the India banks uses the same guys to do their techie work.

Those guys are on both ends of the chain.  They watch ws make billions and wonder why not them????


steveo77's picture

Stop killing our Krill.

Radiation bio-magnifies up to 2,000,000 time in Chitin. Chitin forms the exoskeleton of Krill and Bees. What animals are being pounded into near extinction? All the ones that use Chitin (pronouced Kai-ten) in their bodies or that consume critters that use Chitin are being decimated.

This needs to become common knowledge, so we can stop killing our bio-sphere with radioactive toxins. The scientific proof is here, spread the word. IT IS NOT OVERFISHING!

hxc's picture

Not a bad theory (I read your article from a previous link) but I don't get how this is related. Anyway (friendly suggestion), if you get rid of the red/bold/underlined font then more people will probably be receptive because your chitin theory is a good one, even if a little haphazardly written.

SmittyinLA's picture

SWIFT kinda looks like an "illegal cartel".

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is a co-operative owned by 3,000 financial institutions

Completely exempt from US laws or regulatory authority and engaged in a rainbow of money laundering criminal enterprises.

We need the list a "transaction registry", (NWO tax stuff)

mary mary's picture

Gold is money.  Everything else is theft.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

No, gold is gold. It has a value as a trade currency, but there is a limit on that, and if there no trade, it's just a shiny metal......

mary mary's picture

<- I would trade a hundred dollars for a USA Gold Eagle.  (mary mary ?)

<- I would NOT trade a hundred dollars for a USA Gold Eagle.  (KnuckleDragger-X ?)

Sturm und Drang's picture

"Barbarians at the gates!"

"See if they have any gold. Otherwise, fart in their general direction."

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

I do a lot of consulting on network security, and this doesn't surprise me at all. The least that can be done, will be  what will be done because real security makes things tough for the clowns in management to access their porn supply.......

Sturm und Drang's picture

I don't do consulting in network security and won't. To me, it's a bubble like the cloud bullshit. I focus on end-user training and awareness. I use layered defenses that make benefit/cost sense in the context of the risk. And no small amount of unorthodoxy.


KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Believe me, network security is a big money maker, especially ex post facto. My motto is "panic on your part, does not constitute panic on my part".......

Sturm und Drang's picture

I refuse to even use the buzz words. They (buzz words) tend to create a false sense of, well, security where in reality, none really exists in such a dynamic environment.

sgorem's picture

what's the question?