Date
25 March 2017
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith says the US Federal Reserve  is responsible for the missing money and Bangladesh plans a legal fight to retrieve the funds. Photo: Bloomberg
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith says the US Federal Reserve is responsible for the missing money and Bangladesh plans a legal fight to retrieve the funds. Photo: Bloomberg

Bangladesh vows action on US$100 million cyber heist

Bangladesh’s finance minister pledged to act against its central bank for not informing him about a cyber heist in which hackers broke into a Bangladesh Bank account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last month.

Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, the finance minister, told reporters in Dhaka on Sunday that he was going to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and planned to issue a statement on the matter, which involved the unauthorized transfer of at least US$100 million from the central bank’s account with the New York Fed, Bloomberg reports.

“I will certainly take some action against Bangladesh Bank,” Muhith said, without elaborating. “Bangladesh Bank has the audacity not to inform me.”

The central bank said last Monday the funds had been stolen by hackers and that some had been traced to the Philippines, where it was working with local authorities.

Muhith said last Tuesday the Fed is responsible for the missing money and the government plans a legal fight to retrieve the funds.

A Fed spokeswoman said afterward that instructions to make the payments from the central bank’s account followed protocol and were authenticated by the SWIFT codes system.

There were no signs the Fed’s systems were hacked, she said.

The central bank has retrieved US$20 million of the money, while another US$81 million has yet to be traced, it said in a March 11 post on its Facebook page.

“Cyber attacks are not unexpected,” Muhith said Sunday. “It appears that our protection systems have some flaws.”

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CG

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