Bangladesh Bank Heist: Investigators Blame SWIFT

In February, cyber criminals broke into the Bangladesh Bank’s system in the Federal Reserve of USA in New York and attempted to make a fraudulent transaction of $951 million. Although most of the transactions were blocked, the hackers were able to route some of the money to the Philippines and divert it to casinos there. Most of the money is still missing.

Mohammed Farashuddin, head of the committee probing the heist, told Daily Star on May the 15th that SWIFT is primarily responsible for the hacking of the Bangladesh Bank reserve and that a malware made by either Pakistani or North Korean hackers was used.

Mohammad Shah Alam, head of the Forensic Training Institute of the Bangladesh police’s criminal investigation department said at an interview to Reuters that the police believe that both the bank and SWIFT should take the blame for the oversight. Regarding SWIFT he said:

“It was their responsibility to point it out but we haven’t found any evidence that they advised before the heist.”

SWIFT has previously said to Reuters that the attack was related to an internal operational issue at Bangladesh Bank and that SWIFT’s core messaging services were not compromised.

Bangladesh Bank was susceptible to hacking due to lack of proper firewall being placed in their network system. $10 second-hand network switches were being used on the network computers connected to SWIFT global payment network, investigators said.

Mohammad Shah Alam also said that the shortcomings made it easier for hackers to break into Bangladesh Bank.

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