Tesco Bank has been forced to repay £2.5 million worth of losses after 9,000 of its customers’ accounts were hacked by cyber-criminals, in what banking regulators are describing as an ‘unprecedented attack’.
Whilst the National Crime Agency (NCA) begins its investigation in to the attack, it is believed that hackers were able to gain access to customer accounts via a security flaw in the supermarket chains mobile banking app.
According to reports, the money was stolen by a sophisticated criminal gang who purchased thousands of low-priced goods using contactless mobile phone payments in retail stores across Brazil and the US.
Whilst this incident marks the largest ever attack on a UK bank to result in a mass loss of money, attempted cyber-attacks on UK banks are becoming increasingly common—in fact, there have been 75 reported attacks on financial institutions in Britain this year, up from just five in 2014.
To combat the rise in cybercrime, governments and organisations around the world are investing heavily in cyber-security systems. The UK government recently announced £1.9 billion will be spent on funding the UK’s cyber-security programme until 2020—which will involve the creation of a new Cyber-Security Research Institute and the training of 50 new NCA cybercrime specialists. In Germany, the government created a new Mobile Incident Response Team (MIRT) to combat the increasing threat posed by cyber-criminals.
Whilst banks and retail outlets are often the target for fraudsters, recent incidents have seen water companies, railway networks and even hospitals fall victim to cyber-attacks.
In October 2016, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust declared a major incident after a computer virus infected its IT systems. The attack resulted in a complete shutdown of the Trust’s computer network and the postponement appointments and operations.
As cyber-crime continues to increase and attacks become even more sophisticated, governments, local authorities and companies will need to invest in and improve their cyber-security defences or risk falling victim to a devastating cyber-attack.
Anti-fraud and revenue protection specialist Revector is developing a suite of cyber-protection services for businesses, to prevent critical information being stolen and keep vital networks secure from fraudulent activity. More details will be announced soon!
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