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SWIFT bank hackers may be linked to 2014 Sony hack

The hackers behind the recent attack on a Bangladeshi bank that saw over $81 million siphoned away, may have also been responsible for the 2014 attack on Sony’s servers, which has previously been blamed on North Korea. The anti-malware company behind this latest claim, also believes the group was behind an attack on a Philippine bank too.

Symantetc is the firm pointing fingers after the recent SWIFT banking hack, claiming that the Sony hack may have been perpetrated by the same individuals. It’s not the only source saying it though, with British digital security firm BAE, also claiming a link between the Bangaldeshi bank and Sony hackers (as per Reuters).

The links stem from certain malware used to gain access to the banking systems in the recent attacks. Of the three identified malicious programs, one of them was previously associated with the hacking group suspected of being responsible for the Sony hack two years ago.

“There is a pretty hard connection now to the Sony attacks and the actor behind them and the Bangladesh heist,” said Eric Chien, technical director at Symantec.

wargames

Maybe we could get them to just play a game of chess instead of robbing banks?

Although there are a still a lot of ifs and buts with this story, if it turns out that North Korea was behind the Sony hack and that those same hackers also attacked the Bangladeshi bank, it would be the first recorded instance of a nation state using digital attacks to steal money.

Of all the countries that could take part in such an attack, North Korea would be a prime suspect. It has regular financial difficulties and yet thanks to Chinese ties has had access to some high-level security training. For all of its problematic policies and lack of access to the outside world, North Korea’s digital hacking teams are said to have a lot of skill.

It may well be that there are other financial hacks that it’s responsible for too. Banks in Ecuador and Vietnam have also faced fraudulent SWIFT thefts in recent weeks and they could well be linked.

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KitGuru Says: Part of me hopes North Korea was behind all of this, just so it adds to the strange narrative of that country. 

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