Central Bank of Mexico Set To Establish Cyber Security Unit After Hack

Photo via Diario Las Américas

On Tuesday, the central bank of Mexico said that it was establishing a cybersecurity unit after it experienced a hack on one of its domestic payments systems at the end of last month that affected banks in Mexico.

In a notice in the daily gazette of the government, the central bank said that the new unit would aim to design and issue the guidelines on information security for the banks of the country, which are under the supervision of the central bank.

On Monday, Alejandro Diaz de Leon, the Central bank Governor, said that the country had seen an unprecedented attack on its payment system connections and that he hoped that the measures that are being taken would stop future incidents.

The head of forensic services at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Mexico, Fermin Gonzalez, said that the attack on the Mexican banks is similar to one of the biggest-ever known cyber heists when some thieves stole $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh which happened in 2016.

He said: “Perhaps, some financial institutions perceived the attacks in Bangladesh as something very distant.” He added that some Mexican banks may not have invested in enough security measures.

He added: “But criminals look for vulnerability and once they see it, they are going to exploit it.”

Mexico’s central bank has not identified the banks that were affected by the cyber attack or detailed how much the thieves were able to wire out to some bogus accounts in other banks.

A source who is close to the investigation of the government said that more than 300 million had been siphoned out of the banks. However, the amount of money that had subsequently been taken out in cash withdrawals is still unclear.

On Tuesday, Bank Grupo Financiero Banorte said that the bank does not expect the attack to affect its financial results.