By Brian Kesten
Hackers posing as the Bangladesh Bank successfully transferred $81 million from the Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve’s New York location. Had the transfer request not contained a typo, misspelling “foundation” as “fandation,” millions more would have evaded the Fed’s authentication process. Indeed, the heist was only partially successful, as the hackers aimed to withdraw as much as $1 billion.
The unprecedented heist marks a new era of crime at the intersection of cyber crime and the traditional bank robbery. Investigators have attempted to trace the stolen money, but the trail goes cold in Philippines casinos. In the wake of the theft, Bangladesh’s central bank governor resigned, and the central bank hired attorneys to consider a suit against the New York Fed.