SWIFT confirms additional cyber-attacks on its messaging system

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has issued a warning to its customers that its financial messaging system has undergone repeated attacks similar to those that lead to the theft $81 million (£55.7M) from a Bangladesh bank.

SWIFT has since issued a mandatory security update for its software that will help customers "identify situations in which attackers have attempted to hide their traces, whether these actions have been executed manually or through malware," according to bankinfosecurity.com.

SWIFT would not release any details concerning these attacks or what companies were involved, but the organisation did note that the attacks were all similar and that the attackers were able to compromise the targeted banks computer networks and obtain valid credentials to create and send messages, bankinfosecurity.com reported.

On 25 April, SWIFT confirmed it was aware that malware was targeting its system when $81 million (£55.7M) was stolen from a Bangladesh bank in March.

“SWIFT is aware of a malware that aims to reduce financial institutions' abilities to evidence fraudulent transactions on their local systems. Contrary to reports that suggest otherwise, this malware has no impact on SWIFT's network or core messaging services,” the group posted.

The Brussels-based SWIFT, a banking cooperative that supplies financial messaging services to its 3,000 members, said it is implementing a methodology to help its members enhance their security, but the group is also telling its members to increase their own security measures.