Hackers steal millions from Mexican banks

Hackers steal millions from Mexican banks

Hackers managed to steal hundreds of millions of pesos from Mexican banks by sending thousands of false orders to wire funds to bogus accounts, according to Reuters.

Last month Mexico's central bank sounded the alarm about a concerted attack on the country's real-time payments network, SPEI, revealing that three banks had experienced “incidents”.

Now, citing sources, Reuters says that the thieves sent phantom orders that wired funds from several banks, including Banorte, to fake accounts at other institutions before withdrawing the money in cash in branches.

More than 300 million pesos ($15.4 million) is thought to have been transferred, although not all of the money was successfully withdrawn by the crooks.

Central bank governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon told journalists: “There’s no evidence that would allow us to say with certainty that this is over. We’re taking corrective and mitigating action."

Lorenza Martinez, head of the central bank's payment system, told Reuters that SPEI itself has not been compromised, but that the issue appears to relate to software from institutions or third-party providers to connect to the platform.

Meanwhile, several banks have put contingency measures in place, moving to a slower system to connect to SPEI.

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