Crooks stealing money from your account using your computer

I’m reading more articles describing cybertheives hacking a business computer (could just as easily be a ministry computer), gaining access to bank accounts, then wiring money out of the country. Don’t know how widespread this is, but it is a very real risk.  What makes this very dangerous is that since the hack comes through the business’ computer, it looks like a legitimate transaction to the bank, so the bank has no liability beyond making best effort to return the wire.  If the crooks move fast, the money will be in a country where the legal system won’t help and nothing can be done.  It is a full loss for the business or ministry. 

Here is a great article with some good background, risk assessment analysis, and preventive steps.

The best preventive is to have a dedicated computer used exclusively for banking transactions.  Don’t use that machine for email or any web browsing.  With the minimal cost of a low-end workstation, this is a simple, low-cost preventive step.

It might be time to start doing weekly bank reconciliations.  Probably would be a good idea for ministries and individuals to check their bank balances daily.  Using that newly dedicated workstation, of course!

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