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Hackers Spoil a Bank Robbery of $1 Billion Because of a Wrong Spelling


Bank officials said that a spelling mistake in an online bank transfer instruction has helped in preventing a $1 billion (about Euro 890 million) robbery last month relating Central Bank of Bangladesh and the New York Fed. However, unidentified hackers still managed to take away around $80 million (Euro 71 million) making it one of the biggest bank robberies known in the history.

Two senior officials of Bangladesh Bank said that hackers breached their bank's systems last month and stole its credentials for transferring payments. The officials added that hackers bombarded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with almost three dozen requests to transfer money from their account account to entities in Sri Lanka and Philippines.

Nypost.com posted on 10th March, 2016 stating that four requests for transferring approximately $81 million to the Philippines were executed but the fifth request for transferring $20 million to a Sri Lankan nonprofit organization was stuck due to wrong spelling in the name of the NGO by the hackers.

Reuter's journalists have uncovered more details after the robbery was discovered, revealing that the attack actually happened on the night between 4th and 5th February, 2016.

As the money had to be transferred through a series of mediator banks before reaching Sri Lanka, the wrong spelling of the name triggered alarm bells at German bank Deutsche Bank but not before transferring the money to Sri Lankan bank Pan Asia banking Corp.

However, the money already reached Sri Lanka before Deutsche Bank came to know that there is no Shalika Fandation registered in Sri Lanka. Luckily, Pan Asia was also probing as it was not normal for them to receive such a huge money.

The officials claimed that initially, the central bank was not sure about breaching of their system but experts of cyber security was called to investigate and they found footprints of hackers which suggested that the system had been compromised.

The officials said that these experts feel that the attack originated from out of Bangladesh and the bank is finding out how hackers got into the system through an internal investigation.

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