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The Weekend Read: May 1

Welcome to a brief edition of TWR. Next week is sure to be busier as we head into the Consensus conference. Make sure to catch the David Rutter late Tuesday fire-siding. I will be the guy with no badge loitering near the exits, so come say hi.

1. SWIFT Heist

Weapon of Mass (Wealth) Destruction

Weapon of Mass (Wealth) Destruction

Journos got to take their movie analogies into overdrive this week, as more information was revealed (see Reuters and NYT and Bloomberg) on the $81m 'heist' perpetrated by unknown attackers via the SWIFT network. BAE Systems followed up with a very in depth review of the cyber heist. Amazingly, one of the keys to the whole operation was to correctly spoof print outs of confirmations! BAE Systems wraps up their post with some words of wisdom:

This attacker put significant effort into deleting evidence of their activities, subverting normal business processes to remain undetected and hampering the response from the victim. The wider lesson learned here may be that criminals are conducting more and more sophisticated attacks against victim organisations, particularly in the area of network intrusions (which has traditionally been the domain of the ‘APT’ actor). As the threat evolves, businesses and other network owners need to ensure they are prepared to keep up with the evolving challenge of securing critical systems.

2. Other News

A short Finextra article extends on last week's Barclays/Corda announcement to pimp smart contracts: "While blockchain has been enthusiastically discussed with regards to settlements, there are efficiencies and cost reductions throughout the trade lifecycle that would be possible using it. Smart contracts are the key."

Scott Manuel, vice president and head of product management for Thomson Reuters, expands on TR's interest in DLT. He also echoes the sentiment above on the potential power of legal prose linked to smart contracts: "Our legal customers ... are very excited about the potential of smart contracts, what can smart contracts do, what can they allow in the blockchain world. As most of our legal customers also do legal work with financial services, those clients are all interested in how blockchain can apply."

And finally, Bank Itaú joins the R3 consortium. Bem vindo!