Security & Fraud

Bangladesh Heist: An Unsolved Mystery?


In the ever-evolving saga of the Bangladesh heist, could the trail have run cold?

Reuters reported that the true identities of those behind the $81 million cyberheist involving the country’s central bank earlier this year in February may never be known.

As quoted by the newswire, 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.

As for Kanuck, he stated that a group may have been involved in the theft, which centered on stealing money from Bangladesh Bank’s coffers with the New York Federal Reserve. Four transfers made up the $81 million heist, having traveled through the Philippines and being laundered across casinos.

In the meantime, BAE Systems has found similarities between code used in the most recent hack and code used in the attack on Sony two years ago.

“There is a black market for different capabilities, and you can actually assemble a team like in ‘Ocean’s 11,'” said Kanuck, with a nod toward robbers in cinema.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

Click to comment