Bangladesh’s Central Bank has retrieved part of $81 million stolen in cyber heist. The information was provided by a official on Saturday, who said that the bank had managed to obtain just under a fifth of the $81 million that was originally stolen from its account at the New York Federal Reserve in February.
In a heist that shook the country in February, an unknown group of hackers used stolen Bangladesh Bank credentials and attempted to send almost three dozen SWIFT messages to transfer nearly $1 billion from its Fed account.
In case you are unaware of it, SWIFT refers to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The society provides and maintains a network that lets financial and non-financial institutions transfer funds and conduct transactions through a financial message. This is exactly what the hackers used to transfer almost $1 Billion of Bangladesh’s Central Bank’s money — managing to take away $81 million.
Interestingly enough, most of the money was then laundered through casinos in Manila, prompting Bangladesh to send a delegation to the Philippines. While it was unable to recover the full amount, a Philippines court ruled in favor of turning over a sum of $15.25 million to Bangladesh.
The sum was surrendered by casino boss Kim Wong and his Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, who claimed to have taken it from a couple of Chinese Gamblers. Wow! Guess the folks weren’t as good at gambling as they were at hacking. Wong had returned a total of $4.63 million and 488.28 million pesos (approximately $10.05 million) to Philippine authorities, stating that he did not have any role to play in the heist.
The Philippines authorities has handed over $15.25 million to Bangladesh’s ambassador to the country. Meanwhile, the bank officials have professed their intention to go after the rest of the money as well. Well, they are probably not going to be so lucky so as to have the hackers lose all the money to scrupulous gamblers. Getting the remaining amount could turn out to be considerably harder.
Nevertheless, Bangladesh’s Central Bank will continue with its attempts towards recovering the rest of the money as well.