Symantec says SWIFT malware linked to attack in Philippines

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The SWIFT logo is pictured in this photo illustration taken April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Illustration/File Photo
The SWIFT logo is pictured in this photo illustration taken April 26, 2016.

Reuters/Carlo Allegri/Illustration/File Photo

The malware that was used to steal $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank has been linked to another cyber attack, this time on a bank in the Philippines, cyber security company Symantec Corp said in a blog post on Thursday.

The company said it had identified three pieces of malware that were used in limited targeted attacks against financial institutions in South-East Asia. (

The initial success of the group that attacked the Bangladesh Central Bank and the Philippines bank could prompt more attacks, Symantec said in the post.

In February, thieves hacked into the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) payments system of the Bangladesh central bank, sending messages to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York allowing them to steal $81 million.

The emergence of new possible instances of compromise is not entirely surprising as banks conduct more reviews, SWIFT spokeswoman Natasha de Teran told Reuters.

“Many may turn out to be false positives, and or have nothing to do with SWIFT messages, but it is key that these reviews take place and banks’ environments are secured,” she added.

(Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Siddharth Cavale)