After an almost four-month investigation into one of the world’s biggest bank cyberheists, which has yet to reach any major breakthroughs, Bangladesh’s central bank may choose not to renew its contract with cybersecurity firm FireEye.
Reuters reported on Wednesday (June 22) that the bank is unlikely to move forward with FireEye as the firm investigating the massive cyberheist — where $81 million was taken without a trace from the central bank’s account at the NY Fed — citing costs as one of the factors.
Earlier this year, bank officials said that the hackers first gained unauthorized access to Bangladesh Bank’s systems in order to steal its credentials for payment transfers then sent nearly three dozen requests to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in an attempt to move money from the Bangladesh Bank’s account to overseas accounts.
It was later reported that the Mandiant forensics division of cybersecurity firm FireEye was helping to investigate, according to people familiar with the matter. The company was supposedly recruited by World Informatix, the firm initially advising Bangladesh Bank on the investigation.
Sources at the bank told Reuters that Mandiant said 570 more hours of work are needed in order to complete the probe, confirming that the company has already been paid nearly $280,000 at an hourly rate of $400.
"Its charges are so high … the board has discussed it and decided not to extend," a director on the board of Bangladesh Bank told Reuters.
Coupled with that is the impression that the investigation into the theft has yet to produce any tangible results. According to several official and private investigators who also spoke with Reuters, the money trail has gone cold.
Just weeks ago, Sean Kanuck, named as the most senior official in cybersecurity within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for the past half decade, said no official fingers have pointed to any individuals in definitive connection with the crime. He has knowledge of the case but has not been directly involved.
The other agencies that have been part of the investigation include the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and authorities stretching across the Philippines and Bangladesh. The vast majority of the money is still unaccounted for.