OFFICIALS of Bangladesh Bank may have been involved in a brazen theft of $81 million (£55m) from its account with the New York Federal Reserve Bank in February, the head of a government-appointed panel investigating the cyber heist told reporters on Monday (30).
Hackers broke into the computer systems of the Bangladesh central bank and issued instructions through the SWIFT network to transfer $951m (£560m) of its deposits held at the New York Federal Reserve Bank to accounts in the Philip- pines and Sri Lanka.
Most of the transactions were blocked but four, amounting to $81m, went through, sparking allegations by Bangladeshi officials that both the Fed and SWIFT had failed to detect the fraud.
“Earlier we thought no one from Bangladesh Bank was involved, but now there is a small change,” Mohammed Farashuddin, a former governor of the Bangladesh central bank said, after handing his final report to the finance minister.
He declined to say what the change was, and also did not provide details of the report, but said its findings were different from a previous one that mainly held SWIFT, the international banking payments network, responsible for one of the world’s biggest cyber thefts.
Farashuddin has earlier said SWIFT made a number of mistakes in connecting up a local network in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. SWIFT has denied the accusations.
Bangladesh Bank spokesman Subhankar Saha added that its officials had yet to read the report or receive government instructions on the subject.