A Miami Bank is in shock after it was discovered that thieves have been syphoning off money from one of its accounts over a six-month period, it has been reported. The Miami Beach City Hall’s Sun Trust Bank has been reported to have lost the amount of money starting from the summer of 2016 after cyber criminals inexplicably started rerouting money from one of the automatic payments accounts of the bank.
It is not clear how the cyber criminals managed to access the passwords and other credentials of the accounts of the bank. However, it appears that the criminals took advantage of the automatic nature of transactions that are handled via the account to reroute the transactions over time, leading to what many observers say is one of the largest and sophisticated banking heists in the region in recent years.
According to the City manager, Jimmy Morales, the bank only discovered that it had been losing money to cyber criminals back in December.
‘The City managed to stop all the manipulated online transactions immediately the fraud was discovered on December 19th, 2016,’ Morales says in a memo released to the City Commissioners.
But what is likely to raise concern is the manner in the fraud was conducted. Mr Morales has indicated that it is likely that third parties successfully targeted the routing numbers of the bank and, after accessing them, the criminals managed to manipulate the automatic online transactions of the bank, leading to a massive loss of funds over time.
‘To address the issue, the city has asked Sun Trust Bank to implement highly advanced fraud prevention measures to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future,’ Morales added in the memo.
Moreover, it has emerged that two senior employees of the bank have been forced to resign in the wake of the scandal. Juan Rodriguez and Bryan Scott Wagner who worked as the treasury manager and accounts payable director of the bank respectively were forced to resign over what the bank terms as their failure to have successfully prevented the loss of funds.
‘Although it may not have been possible to prevent the crime from occurring, it would have been possible to minimise the amount of money that was lost by taking the necessary measures that are required of individuals holding the positions of accounts payable director and treasury manager,’ Morales said, referring to the two managers who were forced to resign.