Sunday, May 12, 2013

For banks in cyber heist, how to get their money back?

Because the sums were large and such attacks are relatively new, the two Middle East banks hit in a $45 million ATM heist face an uncertain path in trying to recover their losses, financial, insurance and legal experts say.

Oman-based Bank of Muscat lost $40 million and United Arab Emirates-based National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah PSC (RAKBANK) lost $5 million in the global heist, U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday.

Computer hackers broke into third-party companies that processed transactions for prepaid debit cards issued by the banks, the prosecutors said. Then, gangs in 27 countries withdrew the money from cash machines in two coordinated hits, one on December 21 last year and the other on February 19 this year.

While details of what happened are still sketchy, experts said the banks could bring claims against the processing companies in court, or they could file claims with their insurers and those of the processing companies.