SWIFT hopes to thwart fraudsters with detection system in wake of bank heist

Enlarge (credit: The Dark Knight, Warner Bros.)

Finance messaging giant SWIFT plans new measures to help banks combat fraud, after a gang broke into Bangladesh's central bank in February and stole £57 million pounds—and were only caught because one of them made a typo in a £15 million transfer.

The banking communications network, which allows financial institutions across the world to send each other secure messages about their transactions, is introducing "Daily Validation Reports," which it bills as a mechanism to help customers detect unusual patterns in their message flows, and give them more of a chance "to identify possible fraud attempts and improving the likelihood they can cancel any fraudulent transfers."

The heist, which could have cost almost £700 million but for the typo—which spelled the name of a Sri Lankan NGO called the "Shalika Foundation" as the "Shalika Fandation"—which raised red flags at Deutsche Bank, who warned the Bangladeshis, allowing them to cancel most of the rest of the transactions. Worse still, the Shalika Foundation appears not even to exist, Reuters reported.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments