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US Banking Regulators Warn About Imminent Swift Attacks

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Swift Breaches

US Regulators are scrutinizing the Swift payment network in light of the recent heists which have taken place. That is not a complete surprise, as there is plenty of cause for concern. Things have gotten so dire; the US regulators have warned banks about more imminent threats to their cyber security.

Also read: Hacker Sells Twitter Data Dump On Deep Web For 10 Bitcoin

Ever since the various attacks made against banks connected to the Swift network became public knowledge, there has been a lot of concern among financial regulators. Albeit the hackers used smaller banks to gain access to the Swift network, regulators feel the interbank protocol is no longer safe.

Swift Is Not Adequately Protecting Its Partners

Moreover, they feel all connected banks should do their due diligence and fortify cyber security as they see fit. This is a lot easier said than done, though, considering how smaller banks do not have the budget nor staff to counter these cyber threats in an efficient manner.

Several vulnerabilities have been exposed during these breaches. Given the diversity of the Swift system, patching all of these critical flaws will take a lot of time and effort. Until these fixes are implemented, the protocol remains vulnerable to attack, and it is not unlikely new attacks will follow.

If it were up to Swift officials, however, they would rather cut off smaller banks with subpar security standards. Ever since the small bank breaches were announced, the interbank network has done everything they can to put the blame on their partners. This has caught the attention of regulators all over the world, and especially in the United States.

Note from the author: It remains unclear who is the “guilty party” in these incidents. The investigations are still ongoing as we speak. 

The US Federal Financial Examination Council issued a warning to all Swift-connected banks. This assortment of banking regulators strongly feels Swift cannot protect its partners in an adequate manner, and banks should take matters into their own hands.

But that is not all, as the FFIEC warned how unauthorized transactions will cause losses to the originating bank, as well as result in compliance breaches penalties. So far, the FBI has been investigating various security breaches. However, regulators and banks are on high alert ever since the attempted heist in April of 2016.

Do you think there will be more attacks against the Swift interbank network? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Finance Magnates

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, FFIEC

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US Banking Regulators Warn About Imminent Swift Attacks

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Federal Reserve Faced Hundreds of Cyber Attacks Since 2011

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Federal Reserve

According to a report from the Federal Reserve, the financial institution has faced over 300 cyber attacks between 2011 and 2015. This number is quite significant, but it is not surprising in the last, as hackers have taken a liking to attacking financial institutions.

Also read: Spoofed Kraken Email Is A Mt.Gox Victims Phishing Attempt

Although the report is only available in heavily redacted format, Reuters has managed to extract some interesting details. In several dozen occasions, somebody managed to access information that was beyond their level of authorization. Most of these attacks were executed by hackers and spies, though, rather than people working for the Federal Reserve.

Federal Reserve Is A Popular Target

It is important to keep in mind this report only serves as a representation of what has really gone on behind the scenes. Financial institutions such as the Federal Reserve are constantly under threat. However, the report only mentions attacks affecting the Board of Governors, rather than the privately owned branches.

Malicious code, unauthorized access, and information disclosure were the most common threats to the Board of Governors.Interestingly enough, the Federal Reserve’s national cybersecurity team greatly exceed the number of reports by the local cybersecurity team.

In total, 310 reports were filed by the Board of Governors between 2011 and 2014. Nearly half of those attacks were labeled as hacking attempts, although some reports were not classified under a specific banner. Moreover, there have been eight information breaches between 2011 and 2013, all of which occurred through malicious code used by hackers.

Espionage is a factor as well through these incidents, as four incidents were classified under this moniker. Two of these attacks resulted in data being stolen, although the report doesn’t mention specific details. The Federal Reserve report mentioned an additional 51 information disclosure incidents.

What are your thoughts on the Federal Reserve not disclosing the full truth about cyber attacks? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reuters

Images courtesy of Federal Reserve, Shutterstock

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Federal Reserve Faced Hundreds of Cyber Attacks Since 2011

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The New Humble Book Bundle Includes a Book On Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Humble Book Bundle

The Newly launched Humble Book Bundle is all about hacking, programming, and Bitcoin this time. A lot of valuable books can be picked up for a very fair price, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts can pay in Bitcoin as well.

Also read: Taiwan Holds First Public Blockchain Hearing

New Humble Book Bundle Is Quite Appealing

Every now and then, there is a new Humble Book Bundle, which combines various books on a particular topic and offers them at a very low price to support charity. This week’s bundle is focusing on hacking, programming, and there is a Bitcoin book as well. Especially this latter one is kind of interesting, as it will give people a better understanding of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Bitcoin for the Befuddled, as this book is called, was released back in November of 2014, and some of the information might be slightly outdated. However, this book is mostly focusing on the core principles of Bitcoin, the history of cryptocurrency, and includes details on the blockchain as well. It is good to see such a book as part of the Humble Book Bundle for sure. Keeping in mind how the regular ebook would cost US$19.95, paying the full price for this book bundle will still save interested users money, and they will get a lot of other good books as well.

Hacking is the primary focus for this edition of the Humble Book Bundle, and there are various books on Python, Linux, and privacy to be found in there. All in all, this entire offering has a little bit of everything for everyone and is a must-have for anyone who is fascinated by the concept of cybersecurity, Bitcoin, or just wants to learn more about Python and Linux.

One of the books also talks about how the analyze malware, and how enthusiasts can “dissect” malicious software to their heart’s desire. Given the mounting threat of malware, crypto-ransomware, and the lackluster cybersecurity employed by most individual and enterprise users these days, such a book could turn out to be quite valuable for aspiring security researchers.

Last but not least, this entire Humble Book Bundle can be paid for in Bitcoin. There have been some issues with Bitcoin not being accepted by Humble Bundle in the past, although that is always decided upon by the people creating the bundle, and not the platform. It is positive to see Bitcoin payments enabled for this particular offering, especially because there is a Bitcoin book included.

Will you purchase the new Humble Book Bundle? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Humble Book Bundle

Images courtesy of Humble Bundle, Shutterstock

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The New Humble Book Bundle Includes a Book On Bitcoin

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Bitcoin Companies Can Fight Social Engineering Attempts With Pindrop

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Social Engineering

Various companies all over the world are looking to come up with new methods to prevent fraud from taking place in the financial industry. While plastic card payments are a major threat when it comes to fraud, there are other factors to take into consideration as well. Social engineering is playing an ever-increasing role of importance these days, and Pindrop wants to prevent companies from being scammed over the phone. Bitcoin users can benefit from these efforts as well.

Also read: Innovation Through Bitcoin: An Entrepreneur’s Heaven

Pindrop Raises Another US$75m in Funding

Preventing individuals and companies from falling victim to fraud and scamming attempts is important in the world today. Whereas most people think of hacking attempts as an online threat, the scope of this word is much broader than anticipated. Social engineering, for example, is also considering as a form of hacking, although it is quite different in nature.

Whenever somebody receives a phone call from an individual or company, it is nearly impossible to tell whether or not they are legitimate. Unlike peer-to-peer meetings with people, a phone call is making it so much harder to distinguish between a legitimate outreach or someone trying to take advantage of a certain person.

Pindrop wants to address this issue, as it analyzes both the caller metadata and audio of every conversation taking place. Thanks to its in-house technology, the screening process is yielding good results in distinguishing hacking attempts from legitimate calls by a service provider. It goes without saying such a technology would be of great value to a lot of financial players.

So far, various insurance companies, retailers, and even three of the major US banks are using the Pindrop technology. Over 360 million calls have been screened so far, as the technology verified the phone number used to make the call, and evidence of filters or packet loss.  While each of these things could occur during a legitimate call as well, such details point towards a fraudulent call in most of the cases.

It is important to note Pindrop will not reject any calls flagged as potentially fraudulent, but it will notify the operator about the risk and give them a chance to ask additional questions. With this additional round of funding, Pindrop wants to expand on an international scale and develop new products in the future.

Interesting Technology For Bitcoin Companies

The security of any company can only be guaranteed if the support staff is doing an excellent job. Unfortunately, humans will not be able to work at 100% of their potential at all times. This is where solutions such as Pindrop will be of great help as it automates the process of identifying potentially fraudulent calls.

Bitcoin companies could make use of this technology as well. Especially when considering how Bitcoin puts the end user in full control of their finances at all times, making sure funds is not misspent should be at the top of the priority list. Plus, Bitcoin companies would be among the frontrunners to embrace such call-screening technology, which will bring more legitimacy to the digital currency ecosystem.

What are your thoughts on the technology being developed by Pindrop? Is it something Bitcoin companies could and should use? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: TechCrunch

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pindrop

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Bitcoin Companies Can Fight Social Engineering Attempts With Pindrop

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