Daily Management Review

U.S. Official Says Bangladesh Bank Heist Was 'State-Sponsored'


03/29/2017




U.S. Official Says Bangladesh Bank Heist Was 'State-Sponsored'
An FBI officer in the Philippines, who has been involved in the investigations, told the media on Wednesday that the online theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank's account at the New York Federal Reserve last year was "state-sponsored."
 
While this comment, made by Lamont Siller, the legal attache at the U.S. embassy, are a strong signal that authorities in the United States are close to naming who carried out one of the world's biggest cyber heists, the U.S. official did not offer any additional information. The comments were made during a speech in Manila.
 
North Korea was blamed for the heist last week by officials in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity to the media.
 
"We all know the Bangladesh Bank heist, this is just one example of a state-sponsored attack that was done on the banking sector," Siller told a cyber security forum.
 
The FBI believes North Korea was responsible for the heist. The official did not give details, reported the international news agency Reuters in Washington last week citing information by an official briefed on the probe.
 
Potential cases that would accuse North Korea of directing the heist, and would charge alleged Chinese middlemen, were being built by U.S. prosecutors, reported the Wall Street Journal.
 
In the February 2016 heist hackers breached Bangladesh Bank's systems and used the SWIFT messaging network to order the transfer of nearly $1 billion from its account at the New York Fed and the FBI has been leading an international investigation into the heist.
 
Resulting in $81 million being transferred to bank accounts in the Philippines, the U.S. central bank rejected most of the requests but filled some of them. The money later disappeared in the huge casino industry in the country after being quickly withdrawn soon after the transfers.
 
There have been no arrests in the case.
 
He had taken millions of dollars from two Chinese high-rollers in February, a Chinese casino owner in the Philippines told that Senate inquiry earlier. Transferring of the stolen money from Dhaka to Manila was done by those two men, he said.
 
At the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Philippines, a remittance company and several individuals have been named in criminal charges filed against them by investigators of the country.
 
None of these cases have yet been filed in court, however.
 
"To ensure those responsible for the attack do not go unpunished", the FBI was working closely with the Philippines government, Siller said.
 
"So for us in the FBI, it is never over. We are going to bring these individuals to justice so that we can show others, that you maybe be able to muster such attacks, even state-sponsored, but you will not get away with it in the end.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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