Malware, Threat Management

SWIFT codes targeted in Union Bank of India cyberattack

Hackers launched an attack against the Union Bank of India that was very similar to the Bangladesh bank heist that resulted in the theft of $81 million last year.

The attack against the Union Bank started in July 2016 when scammers sent an email containing a malicious attachment to an employee at the Union Bank of India, Reuters reported citing the Wall Street Journal.

The employee opened the email, which initiated malware that stole Union Bank's Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) codes that are necessary to transfer funds. The hackers then used the codes to send instructions to transfer $170 million to a Union Bank account at Citigroup Inc in New York however, Union Bank was able to spot the fraud and block the transfer.

Late last year, SWIFT said some of the banks using its system had been attacked after the Bangladesh heist, but didn't specify the Union Bank was among those invovlved.

SWIFT officials had been working with the bank since the day of the cyberattack, Union Bank Chairman Arun Tiwari told the WSJ.

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