The central bank of Bangladesh is calling on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and central bank and money laundering authorities in the Philippines to help recover its stolen $81 million.
The New York Times reported on Sunday (March 27) that the new governor of Bangladesh Bank sent out formal letters requesting assistance as a result of the hack that yielded between $81 million and $101 million in funds that managed to vanish into the hands of cybercriminals, which took place earlier this year.
At the same time, Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith is awaiting recommendations on whether to proceed with filing a lawsuit against the New York Fed for what is being regarded as one of the biggest bank cyberheists in history.
New details of the breach have continued to emerge over recent weeks, but the reports indicate that $81 million was stolen from Bangladesh’s account at the New York Fed through the use of official government codes and stashed into a Philippines personal bank account. The remaining $20 million was routed to a Sri Lankan bank.
Details released from a Bangladesh Bank official and an official of the Ministry of Finance say that unknown cybercriminals were involved in 35 transfer requests through the interbank SWIFT messaging system in February, which was then used to gain access to the funds using the codes. SWIFT uses a multilayered authentication process for financial institutions, which involves sending and receiving millions of messages each day between one another.
“In his letters, the new governor sought all kind of help from them to retrieve the stolen money as we are following multiple efforts for the sake of the country,” an official said, according to NYT.
Bangladesh has also sought assistance from the FBI, as well as appointed law firms, as part of its ongoing investigation into who was behind the bank heist and who must ultimately take responsibility for the cybercriminals successfully pulling off such an elaborate and costly scheme.