SWIFT brings in external support as it fights wave of bank hacks

Financial transaction network SWIFT has hired BAE Systems and Fox-IT Security to help it keep its customers secure

SWIFT is bringing in additional security support after a series of high-profile bank heists and attempted bank heists conducted via its financial transaction network.

The company has hired two security firms, UK-based BAE Systems and Fox-IT Security of the Netherlands, to help its customers strengthen their security, it said Monday.

SWIFT's network itself has not been breached in the recent attacks, but bank systems connected to it have been hacked in a number of high-profile incidents over the last year, the most spectacular of which almost led to the loss of US$1 billion from Bangladesh Bank.

BAE Systems knows SWIFT's network well, having published independent reports on the recent attacks, in particular one against a bank in Vietnam. Intriguingly, it also found a link with the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures.

Since those attacks came to light, SWIFT has implemented a new security program for customers, in an effort to educate them that their security systems are just as crucial as its own in preventing the abuse of the SWIFT network to misappropriate their funds.

It is conducting forensic investigations at banks that have suffered SWIFT-related attacks, and sharing the information, in anonymized form, with other banks. Among the information-sharing initiatives are catalogs of the malware involved in the attacks and of key "indicators of compromise" -- think "Eight signs you're having a heart attack" written for the IT department.

SWIFT has also set up a dedicated team to focus on forensics and customer security intelligence, which will work with the two security firms hired Monday.

None of these information-sharing initiatives will work unless there is information to share. SWIFT took the opportunity to remind its customers Monday that they are contractually obliged to inform SWIFT in the event of an attack on their systems -- even if the attack does not succeed.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about IT SecuritySony

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Peter Sayer

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts