By Ellen Messmer
June 17, 2010
In online banking and payments, customers' PCs have become the Achilles'
heel of the financial industry as cyber-crooks remotely take control of
the computers to make unauthorized funds transfers, often to faraway
That's what happened to the town of Poughkeepsie in New York earlier
this year to the tune of $378,000 carried out in four unauthorized funds
transfers from the town's account at TD Bank. First discovered in
January, the town was able to finally get the full lost amount restored
by March, according to public records, through sometimes tense
interaction with the bank.
Though the town declines to discuss the matter, this high-dollar
cyberheist, along with a slew of other incidents in the past year, has
many bank officials worried. They're concerned that the customer
desktop, especially in business banking where dollar amounts are high,
is increasingly the weak link in the chain of trust.
Other cyberheists that have reached the public eye include Hillary
Machinery of Plano, Texas, for $801,495; Patco Construction for
$588,000; Unique Industrial for $1.2 million; and Ferma Corp. for
$447,000. Schools and churches aren't immune, either. One FBI report
from late last year said the agency gets several new victim complaints
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