Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

Hacker threatens to release Liechtenstein bank customers’ finances in extortion bid

An unknown cybercriminal is attempting to extort customers of a Liechtenstein bank, threatening to send potentially incriminating customer financial information to government authorities and the media if the victims don't pay 10 percent of their balances.

The affected institution, Valartis Bank Liechtenstein, issued a statement on Sunday, noting that the attacker (or attackers) obtained information related to payment orders – primarily of a corporate nature – that took place prior to May 2013. The breach of Valartis' e-banking system occurred via an external email contact, according to a corporate statement issued earlier this month and attributed to Dr. Andreas Insam, the bank's CEO.

Customer funds remain intact because the core system of the bank was not infiltrated, the bank affirmed, as did its parent company, Hong Kong-based Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Ltd.

“The attacker did not obtain details of the account statement or asset data,” Fong Chi Wash, CFO of Citychamp, said in a widely reported company statement.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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