10 February 2005

Banks technically aren't responsible for what happens on your PC

So when $90,000 gets lifted from your online banking account via a virus planted by a villainous hacker from a foreign land, your sole recourse is to sue the bank as Miami businessman Joe Lopez is now experiencing.
When he checked his account, Lopez found that $90,348.65 had been wired to Parex Bank in Riga, Latvia -- without his approval. "I thought I was going to throw up," he said.

According to the complaint filed on Thursday, about $20,000 of the money was withdrawn by the fraudulent recipient in Latvia. The rest, roughly $70,000, was frozen by Parex, where it remains.

The U.S. Secret Service, which investigates computer-based attacks on banks, sent Lopez a letter in November saying its "initial examination" had determined that a variant of a virus called coreflood had existed on his computer systems.

Bank of America spokeswoman Eloise Hale said Friday she was not aware of the complaint. But Hale reiterated comments she made for an article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in November that the bank's "internal review of the transaction and documentation confirm all appropriate steps took place."

It's being called a "landmark case" as the ruling may be one of a precedent setting nature. Who is to blame -- the person who doesn't secure their computer or the bank that issued general alerts and warnings about conducting online banking account activity in a secure fashion? We'll have to wait and see how this plays out in the courts.


Just when I thought it was safe to go into online accounts...
Good point about who's to blame. The article doesn't state what kind of hardware Lopez and his company had for network safety. I should ask my brother; he sets up networks and does all the physical end installing. Lopez should have at the least ,a network engineer who periodically updates and looks for this shit...
Then again, I hate Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Assholes.....