Is it more than just a coincidence that this weekend The Oxford Club sent a promotional piece out to potential subscribers warning them that a massive coordinated cyber attack targeting American bank accounts was imminent.
The Oxford Club offers financial educational services to the public through membership subscriptions and publishes an investment newsletter for its subscribers.
Yesterday the head of its cyber security division distributed a video that said American intelligence agencies were aware of a concerted effort by what he called cyber terrorists to siphon something like $105 billion from American’s bank accounts. The time frame he said would start 10am Monday morning.
The video went on to mention hacks that have been done to bank computers and other corporate computer systems in the past that have been quietly hushed up so as not to upset the customers. Verizon for example had a massive hack done on them a while ago that resulted in customer credit card information as well as other personal information for millions of customers being stolen. The video suggested that it was the information gained from thefts like this that would allow individual American bank accounts to be targeted and attacked in mass.
He emphasized that these hacks are being done stealth like by experts that leave few tracks behind to follow and indeed often the exact time the intrusion occurred cannot be ascertained.
Several of the big banks have already been attacked and funds from people’s accounts gone missing but the money has been quietly replaced by the banks and the customers not informed of the breach. In a mass attack, the banks could probably not afford to replace all the lost funds.
He told about one man that seen oddball withdrawals of $100 or more being quietly plucked from his bank account daily. He went to the bank and signed forms and other documents swearing that he was not removing the funds.
The withdrawals continued and grew to several thousand dollars a day. In desperation he closed his account and moved his remaining money to another bank. The hacking still continued. His identity had been completely compromised and in the end he lost all his savings and retirement money.
When I see the Nasdaq saying that the recent hack has only affected the “Directors Desk” portion of their operation and not the trade matching engines used for stock trading, I think of the Oxford Club video I just seen this morning and wonder what might happen in the next couple of days.
I find it interesting to note that this latest breach was first reported by The Wall Street Journal … although Nasdaq says it is notifying their customers of the intrusion.
Traders and exchanges say they will continue doing business normally with Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. when the markets open Monday.