EDUCATION CENTER

Victim of $440K wire fraud can't blame bank for loss, judge rules

Computerworld - A federal court in Missouri has rejected an escrow firm's attempt to blame its bank for a $440,000 cyberheist in March 2010.

In a ruling last week, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri held that Choice Escrow and Title LLC had essentially failed to follow its bank's recommended security procedures and therefore had only itself to blame for the loss.

Choice filed a lawsuit against BancorpSouth in November 2010 after unknown attackers stole the username and password to the company's online bank account and used the credentials to transfer $440,000 to an account in Cyprus.

Choice alleged that the theft occurred only because the bank failed to implement commercially reasonable security measures as defined in the Funds Transfer Act provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Choice Escrow maintained that BancorpSouth should have known the wire transfer request was fraudulent because it was initiated from outside the U.S -- something that had never happened before with its account.

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