Hackers Steal Millions of Wealth Managers’ Money Using Public WiFi Hotspots


Hackers steal millionsBeing hacked is a disastrous and troublesome predicament, but what if it came at a price of millions of dollars? According to a recent article in the Financial Times, cybercriminals in London are using wealth managers to abscond millions of dollars of their client’s money.

Cybercriminals are setting up bogus public WiFi hotspots in airports and hotels around London, and when wealth managers from large banks, managing millions of dollars for their clients, log into these hotspots, the criminals are able to access the manager’s email account and other software.

The results have been disastrous.  These incidents shed light on just how unsafe public WiFi hotspots really are and showcase just how far behind Europe is on cybercrime awareness, as compared to the U.S.

How They Did It

According to Kroll, the cyber investigation agency, after gaining access to the wealth manager’s system, the hacker sends an e-mail to the clearing bank requesting that some of the client money held by the manager be transferred into a separate account.
When the bank e-mails the wealth manager back for confirmation, the hacker intercepts it and responds. Once the money is transferred to this other account, it disappears.

EJ Hilbert, leading the cyber investigation, reports this has happened at least six times over the last four months to London-based wealth managers, with tens of millions of dollars stolen.

Cybercrimes are up 60% over the past year in London, and in response, the London police are planning on quadrupling their cybersecurity police force over the next year.

Remember to Use a VPN

This is just one more reminder why a VPN like PRIVATE WiFi is so essential. You may not have access to millions of dollars, but we believe your personal information is worth that much, and deserves to be protected with bank-level encryption technology.

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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.

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