Irish Central Bank Duped By Money Transfer Scam

The Irish Central Bank, tasked with maintaining the Republic’s banking system, appears to have fallen for a fake invoice scam which, according to our CEO Brian Honan, has been received by a number of other organisations recently:

The Belfast Telegraph reports how Special Gardai financial and online investigators are now looking into the rogue transaction that reportedly led to a €32,000 loss.

In what appears to be a stroke of fortune, the bank realised something was up before a €1.4m transfer to a bogus account was fully completed. The account in question appears to be located in Galway, though the invoice it issued was payable to Danske Bank.

Since discovering the fraud, the bank has reviewed its IT systems and procedures, saying:

The maximum exposure for the Bank is less than €32,000. The controls and the relevant procedures have since been updated to address this issue. There was no impact on the Bank’s internal computer systems or data security.

Despite only being reported yesterday, the fraud came to light on Christmas Eve last year and pertains to a transaction made the day before. The bank reports that the Gardai were contacted immediately.

The bank says it is continuing to review its major systems while maintaining its European regulatory requirements, adding that:

The server-side migration of the bank’s technical infrastructure to a specialist third party data centre operation was completed during the year bringing technical scalability, strengthened security standards and greatly increased resilience to support the bank’s business continuity needs.

This latest incident comes shortly after another Irish company – Ryanair – disclosed that it too had been duped.

The airline lost up to €4.6m after funds were electronically transferred from its account via a Chinese bank. The Criminal Assets Bureau in Dublin is looking into that fraud and has been asked for its assistance in recovering the funds via its counterparts in Asia.

Ryanair says it has taken steps to ensure such a transfer cannot happen again and is reportedly confident that the funds – which have currently been frozen – will soon be returned.

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