The Central Bank of Mexico announced on Tuesday that it was developing a Cyber Security unit after an hack in late April left the domestic payments system, SPEI, vulnerable. This affected banks all over the country. The bank reported that $15 million (300 million pesos) had been siphoned out of five companies. It was not yet determined how much cash was withdrawn though.
The Cyber Security unit would devise information security guidelines to be followed by the country’s banks and be supervised by the Central Bank. Alejandro Diaz de Leon, Governor of the Central Bank, said that the institution had seen an unprecedented wave of cyber attacks and he hoped that the measures taken would prevent future incidents. It is pertinent to mention that the Bank already had an internal cyber security team and that security had been beefed up since 2016.
According to Fermin Gonzalez, head of forensic services at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Mexico, the attack on the Central Bank is similar to one of the biggest cyber heists in history. In 2016, $81 million were stolen from Bangladesh’s Central Bank. Institutions in Bangladesh never invested in cyber security because they didn’t think it important enough.