Wise people say that bankers control the world. After all, for-profit financial institutions are more than just custodians of people’s cash. They also issue credit cards, lend the funds of their depositors to other customers and charge a host of fees whenever they think fit.
Time and again, bankers have proven that they are too big to fail even if some might consider them morally bankrupt. After all, they had inadvertently caused financial bubbles, including the last global economic meltdown, to build up and burst for the sake of making bank. However, they are not always the smartest.
Our friends at Fortunly attest that the banking industry is constantly under threat of internal fraudsters and external hackers. In fact, large-scale heists happen more often than you think.
Between 1998 and 1999, two employees of China Construction Bank, Wang Liming and Wang Xiang, and another accomplice named Miao Ping used one of the state-owned bank’s servers to host phishing sites and steal tons of sensitive eBay customer information.
Eventually, the authorities tracked them down. Wang Liming and Wang Xiang were executed for their dirty deed in 2004. Despite the apprehension of the two main offenders, the Chinese government failed to recover ¥20 million from the scammers.
In 2014, JP Morgan Chase found itself helpless against an alleged group of Russian hackers. Over the span of two months, the attackers had access to the bank’s network and got a hold of the private data of millions of individuals and businesses undetected.
The hackers made over $100 million by carrying out fraud and stock manipulation schemes using the names, phone numbers, addresses and emails of their victims.
More recently, the Bangladesh Bank lost $81 million after unknown hackers broke into SWIFT’s worldwide money transfer system in 2016. Because of this, they were able to process “legitimate” withdrawals.
Had they not misspelled “foundation” as “fandation” when they tried to move funds to the Shalika Foundation, the attackers could have stolen boatloads of money more.
Large-scale digital money heists have led to the development of sophisticated security measures, such as facial recognition, but it is only a matter of time before hackers put such innovations to test and outsmart bankers once again.
Check out the infographic below to learn about the other biggest cases of banking frauds in history.
Tamara Backovic is a Content Specialist at fortunly.com. Pizza addict, comic books and fantasy enthusiast. When she leaves her basic nerd cocoon, she likes to be in the know about the latest trends, and struggles, of the startup phenomenon and contribute to the wonderful tech community.