Bangladesh central bank hack may be an insider job, says FBI

Financial network SWIFT has denied earlier allegations its technicians contributed to the hack

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has found evidence that at least one employee of Bangladesh’s central bank was involved in the theft of US$81 million from the bank through a complex hack, according to a newspaper report.

The number of employees involved could be higher, with people familiar with the matter suggesting that a handful of others may also have assisted hackers to negotiate Bangladesh Bank’s computer system, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Bangladesh Bank officials could not be reached for comment.

The attackers tried to transfer $951 million out of Bangladesh Bank's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February, but most of the transfers were blocked before they could be completed. Some $81 million were sent to accounts in the Philippines.

Bangladeshi officials have partly blamed the hack on the SWIFT financial network, with a bank official and police officer investigating the hack telling Reuters that the connection of SWIFT to the country’s first real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system left loopholes for hackers.

Bangladesh Bank is responsible for the security of its own systems interfacing with the SWIFT network, starting with basic password protection practices, the SWIFT global financial network said in a statement. It rejected the allegations by the bank and the police as "false, inaccurate and misleading."

The police official, Mohammad Shah Alam, told Reuters that his force wants to interview SWIFT technicians to find out whether their actions were intentional or negligent.

Representatives of the Bangladesh Bank, SWIFT and the New York Federal Reserve Bank are meeting in Basel on Tuesday, when the suspicions of the FBI about an insider hand and the role of the SWIFT integration are likely to come up.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?