News / USA

Napolitano: ATM Heist Shows Scope of Cybercrime

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano takes reporters' questions at Reuters Cybersecurity Summit, Washington, May 14, 2013.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano takes reporters' questions at Reuters Cybersecurity Summit, Washington, May 14, 2013.
Reuters
A global ATM heist targeting two Middle Eastern banks that came to light last week is an example of how easily financial crimes can be committed and coordinated in cyberspace, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Tuesday.
 
"It demonstrates the kind and scope of financial crimes that are enabled in a network-connected world, particularly by those who have some skill although not necessarily the highest level of skill, quite frankly, but who can coordinate timing and the like," Napolitano told the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit in Washington.
 
Hackers in December stole a combined $45 million from two banks through coordinated ATM withdrawals around the world. They broke into two unnamed bank card processing companies, raised the balances and withdrawal limits on accounts, then withdrew the money.
 
The prosecutors did not name the two companies but said one was based in India and the other in the United States.
 
Napolitano, who declined to discuss details of the investigation, said the growing number of cyberattacks on banks has resulted in a closer relationship between the government and financial institutions to tackle potential threats.
 
"There is urgency and this is a big problem and legislation certainly would assist us in our efforts," she said, referring to cybersecurity legislation that has been mired in a divided Congress.
 
Napolitano said the legislation, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, was vital to improve the flow of information in real time to help ensure companies know about possible cyberthreats.
 
The House of Representatives easily passed CISPA legislation on April 18, with majority Republicans getting some support from Democrats.
 
She said she hoped the Senate and the House could come together to agree on legislation to improve cyber sharing that is supported by the White House. She said officials were working on it behind the scenes.
 
While proposed legislation failed to get through the Senate last year, Napolitano said lawmakers had made some progress since then.
 
"One of the things that happened last year was the education of many members about this field. They didn't know very much, to be truthful," she said.
 
More congressional hearings on the issue are likely this summer, Napolitano said, but timing for action on the legislation is uncertain. "It's Congress, and they have their own measure of time," she added.
 
Napolitano also said the government was studying ways to use its purchasing power to induce software makers to sell more secure products.
 
"What we are looking at is what kind of incentives could be used to attract companies to use best practices, including in the software arena, and whether there could be procurement preferences," she said.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More