Last month, a group of unknown hackers committed one of the largest bank theft in history when they stole $80 million as part of a scheme involving the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the Bangladesh central bank, Reuters reported on Thursday (March 10).
The hackers breached bank’s systems of Bangladesh and inundated the Federal Reserve Bank with requests to transfer money out of the Bangladesh bank’s accounts to other accounts they set up in the Philippines and one in Sri Lanka belonging to “the Shalika Foundation.”
After four requests they transferred about $81 million from Bangladeshi bank to Philippines but during the fifth time when they had to transfer $20 million to a non-profit organization in Sri Lanka, they misspelled the name of the NGO, ‘Shalika Foundation’. They misspelled the name ‘foundation’ as ‘fandation’ which prompted a routing bank, Deutsche Bank, to seek clarification from the Bangladesh central bank and so transaction was stopped.
The Shalika Foundation, a supposed non-governmental organization, does not appear to exist at all.
International officials are busy working cleaning up the financial mess left by February’s breach. Investigation team, including the cybersecurity company FireEye, is working on the case.
According to Bangladeshi officials, they have recovered only a fraction of stolen funds and have little hope of apprehending the hackers.
The South Asian country has blamed New York Fed for not stopping the theft in time. Finance Minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has told Reuters that the country may file a lawsuit.
The theft comes a year after a a group of hackers stole $300 million from over 100 banks worldwide. In that case, the hackers used malicious software to monitor activity at each bank via live video feed for months before conducting the theft.