Foreign Hackers Targeting American Banks, Brokerage Accounts

Lawmakers in Washington say we need to bolster our cybersecurity after recent attempts to hack critical infrastructure in the United States.

Federal regulators say recent attacks on Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods are just the beginning. Retail investors are struggling with a surge in hackers trying to take over brokerage accounts. Cybersecurity expert Nick Powers, Vice President of UNCOMN LLC, says financial institutions have spent billions to prevent identity theft or a security breach.

“When you talk about an industry and the amount of investment they’re making into cybersecurity, financial institutions are one of the highest, if not the highest in the country,” Powers said.

Still, he says those organizations are under constant attack. Attempted hacks of all kinds reportedly skyrocketed between 2019 and 2020.

“We’ve done a lot of work inside the Department of Defense, and you’re talking millions of hits a day, or week. So, I would imagine [financial institutions] would be up there,” Powers explained. “That’s where the money is, is in the banks. Everybody is trying to hit them using hacks and other things as well. I imagine they’re under a significant amount of pressure.”

Powers says you need to take steps to protect yourself. He recommends you use a multi-factor authentication in order to access your financial accounts, bank, 401(k). He also warns you never to do your online banking in a public place attached to a public Wi-Fi.

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