Hackers target local banks and financial institutions

Banks and financial institutions in Grenada have lost over a million dollars in 2020 through scams especially from hackers in Eastern Europe and Africa.

An industry official told THE NEW TODAY that these local financial entities are under attack on a daily basis as fraudsters target credit and debit cards to illegally lay their hands on money.

“The card system is under attack and one has to be extremely careful. You don’t hear those things (attack on the institutions) because you have to be very careful (with money,” he said.

“If money is missing in an account, the bank has to investigate to see what is happening in order to find out how and why the money is missing,” he added.

According to the official, the world has moved towards cards to do business and transactions and scammers whom he labelled as “brilliant guys” are coming up with creative ways to hack into the account of bank customers.

“You have thousands of fellahs hacking and in a few minutes you can lose thousands of dollars,” he said, adding that all of the banks on the island lost thousands of dollars last year through fraudulent means.

“Some people lose money carelessly but others do nothing but their money gone because of hacking,” he told THE NEW TODAY.

Without calling name, he said that one financial institution alone lost over half-a million dollars in 2020 but some of the funds will be recovered due to insurance coverage.

The official disclosed that one of the changes made by banks and some credit unions in recent times is to have employees working 24-hours a day with the specific responsibility to check every 4 hours on the status of the card system.

He said the hackers have very sophisticated tools to come up with numbers in order to try and break into the bank’s computer system and steal money.

“If you (the hacker) get through with one or two (numbers) you focus all your attack there and it might open different windows. So in a matter of minutes you could easily lose a few thousand dollars from a hacker,” he added.

The official stated that as fast as the hackers try to break into the bank system, the institution has to engage in “doing security patches” to ward off these unauthorised attackers.

He said that these hackers will give a few days break but will be back again soon to try and break into the system to steal money.

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