Bangladesh Bank: The Monetary cyber heist

On February 2016, Hacker used the Bangladesh Bank (Central bank of Bangladesh) official computer to make payments by SWIFT. They heist around $951million from Bangladesh bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank.

How this heists happen

According to the reports, “Malware was installed into the computer of the Federal Reserve Bank”.

For every transfer from the bank, it requires a confirmation but the hackers were able to perk the large amount of money at multiple fake accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

The hackers planned to heist more than $80 million, which they wanted to do with several attempts, but luckily a spelling error stopped the further transfer of another $850 million.

Reuters news stated that, “Most of the detectives believe that special malwares were installed in the computer system of Bangladesh Bank to attack and the hackers try to watch how money is transferred from its account at the Fed Reserve Bank.”

The nature of malware is still unknown, but it may be malicious software which usually included spying programs to allow groups of people to learn how money was processed, received and send.
Some detectives told that it may be a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) or a similar spyware. This spyware allowed the hacker to thieve remote access to the bank’s computer.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications or SWIFT is one of the highly secure messaging network systems that use the higher standardized system of codes to transfer instructions and information between financial institutions.

Bangladesh Bank also uses such a secure code to communicate with each other. But the hackers stole credentials used by BB for the SWIFT messaging.

Investigation in Bangladesh, Philippines and USA
Bangladesh Bank hired World Informatix Cyber Security and FireEye Company to conduct the investigation. The cyber security experts explore that “footprints” and “malware” were installed by hackers in the banking system nearly in January 2016 to monitor and gather information about international payment and transactions.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of the Philippines launched a probe to mention who have allegedly played a key role to transfer the illicit funds. The NBI coordinates with relevant government agencies and the NBI also included the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). The AMLC started investigation on February 19, 2016 of bank accounts linked to the junket operator.

US-based companies, FireEye’s forensics division and World Informatix Cyber Security, are investigating the hacking case. According to them, the perpetrators’ familiarity of Bangladesh Bank was probably gained by spying.

The Bangladesh government is suing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a bid for recovering the stolen funds.

Additionally, Bangladesh Bank governor ‘Atiur Rahman’ resigned from governor post due to the heist and money laundering. On March 15, 2016, Atiur Rahman submitted a resignation letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Atiur Rahman stated that he resign for the sake of his country’s goodness.

Money Recover

Until now, the Bangladesh Bank was able to recover $20 million from Sri Lanka and $18 million from the Philippines. The Bangladesh Bank is still trying to recover the rest of the stolen money with the help of the Federal Reserve Bank, SWIFT and other organization.

Share this information
About Reza Rafati 3136 Articles
Founder of