Most people have used this system without even knowing it, most overseas transactions heavily rely on the SWIFT system (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications). The system assigns a certain code to each Financial entity. The first four characters are the Institutes code, the country code would be the next two characters. The city codes would be the two characters after that and the last three are optional but if used would be the branch code.
As of now, no hacker group has been formally blamed. The Russian Central Bank is the entity that came forward and stated that hackers had gained access to one of the computers of a Russian bank. From there they were able to transfer said amount to their own accounts. The total amount missing is 339.5 million roubles which is more than 6 million dollars.
Artem Sychev who is the Deputy head of Russia’s Central bank security department did not want to comment on how exactly the hackers were able to gain access. He only stated that the hackers used “Common methods”.
This isn’t the first time hackers tried to steal money from Russian banks, In December of last year, hackers tried to steal 55 million roubles from Globex which is another Russian bank.
It is worth mentioning that the hackers didn’t hack the swift network, rather they hacked into one of the computers in the bank, meaning that the SWIFT system is in fact safe. As of now, the SWIFT system has not been compromised by any hacker group. The sad truth is that hackers usually go for the easier targets, and even though a bank is “supposed” to be safe, It is only as strong as its weakest link. This has been proven to be us, humans.