Offshore banking more secure? You're dreaming

Offshore banking more secure? You're dreaming
Offshore banking more secure? You're dreaming 

By Bill Brenner
Senior Editor
April 19, 2010

Off-shore financial institutions get lots of business from those who 
think their money is safer on a (nearly) deserted island. But one 
security expert says it's a myth.

Some economists believe as much as half the world's capital flows 
through offshore institutions. You can also break down the math this 
way: Less than 2 percent of the planet's population inhabits these tax 
havens, yet 26 percent of the world's wealth can be found in these 

"You would expect that isolated offshore financial centers, such as 
those in Bermuda, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas would be exponentially 
more secure than your local bank branch due to the magnitude of money 
being protected but you would be wrong," said Andrew Hay, a Canadian 
security practitioner and author who will give a talk on the subject at 
SOURCE Boston Wednesday.

In an e-mail exchange conducted in advance of the conference, Hay said 
foreign nations, malicious attackers, and malware makers know that most 
tax havens, especially those located in small water-locked countries, 
are behind the times when it comes to security. This knowledge, combined 
with the amount of money that flows through the offshore financial 
centers, makes them juicy targets for major financial exploitation.


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