Details of the £229 million Japanese Bank Hacking Attempt Revealed

Computer hackers have reportedly applied sophisticated password-detection software application to steal £229million from one of the largest banking groups from Japan.

The reports unveiled that a security supervisor from the bank helped Belgian hackers to enter into the offices of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in London back in 2004.

In a plot that seems to be cribbed from a Hollywood movie, a crooked security supervisor, named Kevin O'Donohue, smuggled a couple of Belgian hackers into the bank premises at night where they fixed spy software on systems that were used for huge cash transfers.

The key-logging software tools placed by the hackers were installed to swindle crucial information, such as usernames and passwords of the bank staff, from the computer systems.

The company accounts targeted by the hackers included those of Toshiba, Mitsui OSK Lines, Sumitomo Chemicals, and Nomura Asset Management.

The incident triggered high alert on banking security at that time, as the City of London Police and the National High Tech Crime Unit kicked off investigating the offence.

The security details were exploited to transfer money in accounts set up at various locations, such as Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Spain.

However, the money transfers were failed to process as the hackers didn't fill required data in one of the fields in the system employed by the banks to facilitate more money transfers.

Incidentally, further attempts to transfer money were checked when the bank notified about the incident to National High Tech Crime Unit in UK.

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Our Comments

This case highlights the danger of the insider threat, a scenario that is often overlooked by many companies which may fear a backlash from their own employees. The credit crunch means that it is now more vital than ever to companies to quadruple check their security checks as hackers can not only steal money but also cause irremediable damage to companies by preventing them from working normally.

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