The next time anyone tells you that they have built a „Secure“ system, get them to read this article.
An unknown number of people with a lot of easily acquired knowledge, but not so common skills, developed and deployed a system of hacks to manipulate a „secure“ banking system to transfer almost a billion dollars to accounts unknown. A large amount of this money is now „accounted for“, whatever that means, while 81 Million Dollars are still missing. That looks like a pretty good return on investment if you’re not too worried about illegalities or you consider it just liberating the money from robber banks.
Of course, many will say „our security standards are better than those in Bangladesh“ but those people are just trying to reassure those who cannot, for whatever reason, understand the signals generated by this particular case.
An incredible number of systems rely on the key system-parts misused in this hack. I would not have believed it until I saw it, so many systems rely on reading and writing text files from some location, often a network share, and these files are easily manipulated if due attention is not paid to the security of those files.
Just last week I had an application development team who could not, or would not because of time constraints, understand why it was a bad idea to let a server inside the secure zone reach out to a server on the internet in order to automatically download some code. The number of ways in which their deployment scheme could be hacked into and misused was mind-boggling and yet, they considered it not only safe, but also perfectly normal. Someone is going to make a lot of money out of their overly relaxed attitude if they should draw the wrong kind of attention.