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Latest cyberhack cost Mexican banks millions

Mexico City, Mexico — The Bank of Mexico (Banxico) says it has added new security measures to online banking operations after a recent cyber attack that compromised hundreds of millions of peso.

After the April cyber attack that compromised hundreds of millions of pesos in Mexico banks, Banxico says they have implemented new security features to help protect consumers.

Alejandro Díaz de León of Banxico told El Financiero that the Central Institute decided to issue provisions that give banks and other entities space to implement additional control measures to strengthen their systems for detecting irregular transfers.

This will also include verifying the integrity of its operations to avoid possible affectations to banking institutions.

One of the new features is a delayed cash withdraw for customers who receive an Interbank Electronic Payment System (SPEI) of 50,000 peso or more. The delayed withdraw means customers will have to wait until the next banking day to take out cash.

Another security feature will be the banks’ authorization to carry out validations on transactions to take longer than 30 seconds as currently regulated.

This is for the banks to check the filters, the exit orders and the accounts. Some of these participants may request additional time to verify the authenticity of the payment,” explained Díaz de León.

“We will review the process in each case that we want to implement, which is the reasonable verification time and, if appropriate, we will authorize it to be longer,” he added.

While no exact figure has been provided yet by Mexican banking institutions since investigations are ongoing, the April cyber hacks are thought to have cost more than 400 million peso.

On April 27, several large banks in Mexico suffered irregularities in SPEI transfers which turned out to be cyber hacking. Three banks reported incidents while operating the Interbank Electronic Payment System (SPEI), a platform of the Bank of Mexico (Banxico).

Over the course of three days, three banks were cyberhacked, which resulted in the loss of millions of peso. This most recent hack came less than four months after hackers tried to hack Bancomext, forcing the institution to suspend operations on its international payment platform.