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Fed still sees cyber risks for transfer trillions of dollars

Staff Writer | December 21, 2017
The Federal Reserve (Fed), which was at the center of an unsolved $81-million cyber heist nearly two years ago, is ready for further talks with foreign counterparts to address the lingering risks of cyber fraud in global messaging systems.
Federal Reserve
Technology   The SWIFT bank messaging system
Simon Potter, head of market operations at the New York Fed, said the SWIFT bank messaging system is only as strong as the weakest of the central banks and financial institutions that use it to communicate and transfer trillions of dollars each day.

In February 2016, hackers broke into Bangladesh Bank's systems and tricked the New York Fed - which maintained its account - into sending $81 million to entities mostly in the Philippines.

Bangladesh's central bank has only recovered some $15 million of the stolen funds despite an international probe involving the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Fixing the "deficiencies in prevention and detection may require a substantial re-orientation of priorities and resources for some institutions," said Potter, whose unit within the U.S. central bank maintains the international accounts and oversees some $3.6 trillion in foreign dollar-denominated assets.