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Bank backs down and reimburses cyber-attack victim

03 August 2011  |  16861 views  |  2 cash

Comerica Bank has ditched plans to appeal the ruling of a Michigan court last month and has reimbursed a small business customer that was hit by wire fraud scammers.

Judge Patrick Duggan of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the bank should have done a better job of picking up the fraudulent transactions worth over $1.9 million running from the company's accounts after its financial controller was duped into opening a malware-laden phishing e-mail.

Comerica was ordered to reimburse the firm to the tune of $560,000 but pledged to file an appeal against the Michigan ruling, pushing the issue higher up the justice system to an appellate court, where the verdict will hold sway over future district court adjudications.

However, according to BankInfoSecurity, a change of heart has occurred and the bank has paid the settlement.

The question of whether a bank is responsible for ACH wire fraud has been in the spotlight over the last couple of months. Before the Comerica ruling, a presiding magistrate in Maine ruled that Ocean Bank was not responsible for the loss of around $345,000 from a business customer account following a similar cyber-attack.

Since then California-based Village View Escrow has become the latest US business to sue its bank after having its account drained by cyber-thieves, seeking reimbursement for the $465,000 it lost.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 04 August, 2011, 12:38

Strikes me that theses firms have very poor controls if these sums a money are disappearing from their accounts

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 04 August, 2011, 17:24

Not necessarily. According to the complaint filed in the latest case - link to which is available in my below Finextra post - the plaintiff (Village View Escrow) spotted the loss the very next day. 

http://www.finextra.com/community/fullblog.aspx?blogid=5590

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