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Swift introduces fraud tool but comes under pressure from hacking group NSA claims

Swift has revealed a service designed to help banks spot fraudulent messages and avoid a repeat of the now infamous Bangladesh Bank hack.

SWIFT logo

Swift under pressure from hacking group NSA claims

Customers are able to integrate the service directly into their Swift messaging flows, making it easier to detect unusual patterns, screening the messages according to their own chosen risk and compliance policies.

Launched as a hosted utility, meaning no hardware or software installation or maintenance, the service will be initially targeted at smaller financial institutions and central banks struggling to meet new, more stringent security rules.

However, as this roll-out begins, Swift and EastNets have been implicated by a Russian hacking group that the US National Security Agency accessed a backdoor to the bank network and planted spyware and monitor data traffic from a number of Middle East banks.

The claims, made by Shadow Brokers in a blog, posted a range of hacking tools allegedly used by the NSA to hack into various Microsoft systems, alongside claims that the NSA had used the highly-classified technology to infiltrate a Swift Service Bureau run by EastNets.
The EastNets Bureau connects 260 banks to the Swift messaging network, including some of the biggest financial institutions in the Middle East.

In a statement, EastNets said the published documents lacked credibility and the claims made by the hackers were “totally false and unfounded”.

“The EastNets Network internal Security Unit has run a complete check of its servers and found no hacker compromise or any vulnerabilities,” the company said.

“The EastNets Service Bureau runs on a separate secure network that cannot be accessed over public networks. The photos shown on twitter, claiming compromised information, is about pages that are outdated and obsolete, generated on a low-level internal server that was retired in 2013.”

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