Hackers divert funds from Mexico banks, amount unclear: official

May 14, 2018
At least five attacks on the Mexican central bank's Interbank Electronic Payments System were carried out in April and May

Hackers have stolen an unknown amount of money from banks in Mexico in a series of cyber attacks on the country's interbank payments system, an official said Monday.

At least five attacks on the Mexican central bank's Interbank Electronic Payments System (SPEI) were carried out in April and May, said Lorenza Martinez, director general of the corporate payments and services system at the central bank.

"Some transactions were introduced that were not recognized by the issuing bank," she told Radio Centro.

"In some cases these transfers made it through to the destination bank and were withdrawn in cash."

She declined to reveal which banks were targeted.

Some Mexican media outlets have put the amount stolen at 400 million pesos ($20.4 million), but Martinez denied those reports.

"The amount is currently being analyzed. Some of the transfers were stopped, and the funds are currently being returned," she said.

She said the money stolen belonged to the banks themselves and that clients' funds were never affected.

The interbank payments system allows banks to make real-time transfers to each other.

They connect via their own computer systems or an external provider—the point where the attacks appear to have taken place, Martinez said.

After the attacks were detected, switched to a slower but more secure method.

No new attacks have been registered since.

Explore further: Central banks warned to weigh risks of virtual currencies

Related Stories

Central banks warned to weigh risks of virtual currencies

March 12, 2018

A global financial body warns central banks should carefully weigh the risks before introducing their own virtual currencies, saying such innovations could risk destabilizing banking systems and unleash disruption across ...

Big US banks unveil consumer payment app

October 24, 2016

Major US banking groups Monday announced they would join forces for a new person-to-person mobile payment application to counter services like PayPal's Venmo and Square Cash.

Europol warns banks ATM cyber attacks on the rise

September 26, 2017

Cyber criminals are increasingly accessing ATM machines through the banks' networks, with squads of money mules standing by ready to pick up the stolen cash, Europe's policing agency warned Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

October 4, 2018

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.