Security & Fraud

Congress Probes NY Fed's Role In Bangladesh Heist

Congress Probes NY Fed's Role In Bangladesh Heist

The list of investigations into the Bangladesh cyberheist — where $81 million was taken without a trace from the central bank’s account at the NY Fed — has added yet another interested party to the list.

According to a letter seen by Reuters, the House of Representatives' Science Committee is launching a probe into how the Federal Reserve Bank of New York handled the massive bank heist that took place back in February.

The letter, addressed to New York Fed President William Dudley, requests that "all documents and communications" related to the theft, oversight of global payment network SWIFT and the status of any of the Fed’s own reviews since the attack be turned over to the committee.

With the person or group responsible for the heist still on the loose — and a money trail gone essentially cold — the pressure is heating up to solve what one private investigator who is following the case called “the modern-day Ocean’s 11.”

"In light of the recent cyberattacks on our global financial systems, the committee believes it is imperative to receive information from the NY Fed about its response, its oversight of SWIFT, the status of the investigation and any remedial steps taken to address vulnerabilities," the letter, signed by House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), states.

On the U.S. side, the FBI is on the case, and the central bank of Bangladesh has also called upon the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to help track the funds.

At one time, Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith was looking into 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.

Last month, representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Bangladesh Bank and SWIFT agreed to work together to track down the stolen funds. Bangladeshi police and banking officials have said that the connection of SWIFT messaging to a new bank transaction system could have led to the cyberheist, with the change being made just months before the cyberattack occurred. SWIFT later fired back at those allegations, saying it was not responsible for any of the issues.

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