At least three U.S. banks have lost millions of dollars after fraudsters gained control of payment applications that control wire transfers.
The attacks, which occurred over the last three months, show that hackers are “moving deeper and deeper into the [banking] systems,” Avivah Litan, a Gartner vice president who has frequent confidential discussions with banks on security issues, said Friday. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Hackers have long targeted individual users, compromising account logins and passwords to execute wire transfers. Money “mules” are recruited to accept the fraudulent money in their own accounts and then transfer it again, often overseas where it can be difficult to recover.
But the latest attacks appear to be much more financially damaging. Litan said she cannot identify the affected banks, and few technical details are available about how the fraudsters accessed the wire payment application, also sometimes referred to as a wire payment switch.