The bank accounts of 90,000 customers have been compromised. The two large Canadian banks hacked are Bank of Montreal and Simplii Financial. The Bank of Montreal released a press release on the 27th of May 2018, regarding the matter.
“On Sunday, May 27, fraudsters contacted BMO claiming that they were in possession of certain personal and financial information for a limited number of customers. We believe they originated the attack from outside the country. We took steps immediately when the incident occurred and we are confident that exposures identified related to customer data have been closed off.”
The Bank of Montreal subsequently issued a tweet regarding the hack and has stated affected customers will be contacted to determine if there has been any financial impact. Simplii Financial issued a statement on Facebook and also tweeted a link to the Facebook statement. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on the 29th of May, 90,000 customers have been affected from these two banks. The hackers have indicated that they have access to customer information such as banking details, name, address, passwords, security answers, occupation, marital status, balance, and even air miles.
An unusual component of this particular scam is that the hackers revealed how they gained access to this information, through the use of a common mathematical algorithm to validate short numeric sequences such as credit card numbers. According to the hackers, the banks were giving too much permission to half-authenticated accounts. The Russian based email where the hackers issued the demands stated they needed a $1 million ransom in Ripple (XRP). CBC reached out to the Bank of Montreal for comment who said they do not negotiate with fraudsters. The report from CBC also showed the Ripple address that the hackers wanted the funds paid into. The hackers revealed the information of two individuals from the Bank of Montreal, and CBC subsequently contacted these individuals who verified that the information was accurate.
These hacks reflect negatively on the banking system, which is currently competing against cryptocurrency as a new form of exchange for goods and services. From the perspective of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, it is interesting that Ripple was chosen over other coins such as bitcoin, monero, or ether. Ripple is the quickest and cheapest cryptocurrency, which could make a difference with a million dollar sum.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.