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Cybercriminals attack Nepali banks’ SWIFT system

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KATHMANDU — Unidentified cybercriminals have reportedly hacked into the SWIFT system of some Nepali banks to steal money, exposing vulnerability in the information technology system of the banks,according to media reports.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunication (SWIFT), is a global financial messaging system that thousands of banks and commercial organisations across the world use to transfer money.

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central bank of the country, has confirmed the report that cyber theft was took place on the day of Laxmi Puja during the Tihar Festival, when all the banks and the central monetary authority remained closed.

It is learnt that some Nepali banks including NIC Asia Bank’s SWIFT codes have been hacked by hackers by using malware in their system.

The Cable News Network (CNN) reported that the North Korea based hackers might have been involved in the latest hacking. It had also suspected that the similar SWIFT code used by the group in South Korean banks hacking in 2013 have been used again.

In May 2016, cyber criminals had hacked into the computer of a Bangladeshi central bank official to make illegal payments via SWIFT.

According to a report prepared by the Russia-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab in 2015, international cybercriminals had attempted to attack financial institutions in Nepal using a malware called Carbanak.

The criminals had sent messages to the New York Federal Reserve seeking to transfer nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank’s account, Reuters reported.

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Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa narrowly escapes explosion at party rally

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HARARE — Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped injury in an explosion on Saturday which has rocked a stadium where Zimbabwe’s president was addressing a campaign rally, with state media calling it an assassination attempt but saying the president was not hurt.

President Mnangagwa was whisked to a state house in Bulawayo, where he had been speaking ahead of next month’s historic election, the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down.

The explosion occurred as the president, accompanied by other politicians, was walking off the stage at the White City stadium after addressing thousands of supporters in advance of next month’s vote.

Mnangagwa, the 75-year-old leader of ZANU-PF, was not hurt and taken to safety, officials said. However, witnesses said several people were injured, including the Vice-President.

Several others including number security personnel, the wife of fellow Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, the environment minister and the deputy speaker of parliament also suffered wounds.

Agencies

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