THE US attorney’s office in Manhattan has opened an investigation of the cyber heist of $81 million (£55m) from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a law enforcement source said.
Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, is investigating the February crime, in which criminals used the SWIFT fund-transfer network to steal money from Bangladesh’s central bank.
The investigation comes as the FBI and other agencies are seeking to guard against cyber thefts. The Federal Reserve and other financial regulators last week told banks to review cyber-security protections against fraudulent money transfers in the wake of the Bangladesh Bank heist. The FBI last month privately urged banks to look for signs of attempt- ed cyber thefts.
Last week, an FBI official, speaking in Washington, said the agency is investigating “a number of different tentacles” but does not yet know who committed the Bangladesh crime.
The Bangladesh police and other law- enforcement agencies also are investigating the largest known cyber heist from a bank.
Thieves in February hacked into the bank’s interface with the SWIFT network and gave the New York Fed fraudulent payment instructions. The Fed transferred $81m held by Bangladesh Bank to accounts in the Philippines, where it went missing.