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University loses nearly 1 million dollars to malware

Thieves appear to have stolen the funds from University of Virginia after compromising a computer belonging to the University's Financial Controller. Malware intercepted the Online Banking Credentials for the University's Bank accounts and initiated a fraudulent wire transfer for $996,000 to a  Bank in China.

Whereas, because of a £10,000 per day limit on my UK Online Banking via BACS, when I was transferring £125,000 yesterday via CHAPS, RBS called up our dual Signatures on File, checked my Passport & Debit Card, and recorded me on CCTV. I was happy that they had done their due diligences.

Times like this prove that automated chaos is just faster chaos. Why would the University of Virginia not have arranged for a limit on their Online Banking Account - say $100,000?   


Comments: (1)

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon 03 September, 2010, 11:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Crazy. Banks are supposedly desperate to hold onto capital funds, so you'd think they'd pass this up a notch and do some checks prior to transferring a million.

Also, if transferred 'in error' or in suspected fraud cases, don't banks have the ability to recall the transfer.  Presumably it was noticed pretty quickly.  I know if money is erroneously transferred to my lowly account in error, it is soon recalled. And even if I have withdrawn it, the recall still happens and puts me in debt.  And to withdraw the $1m from the receiving bank should attract a second set of checks.  Taking just $5k out in the UK often requires photo ID and KYC.  Something doesn't seem right here - the University Bank should have had better safeguards.

Keith Appleyard

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