Security Hackers stuff up $800 million bank heist over spelling error

Scorpus

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Hackers attempting to steal nearly a billion dollars have had their plans mostly foiled by a basic spelling error, which occurred when they attempted to transfer money to a bogus company in Sri Lanka.

The whole heist started when hackers broke in to the systems of the Bangladesh Bank and started transferring money from accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Four transfers worth around $81 million completed successfully, but then the hackers ran into an issue.

The fifth transfer they attempted to perform, with a value of $20 million, was set to go to a non-governmental (and apparently non-existent) organization called the Shalika Foundation. However the thieves failed to spell foundation correctly, instead asking transfers to the "Shalika Fandation".

Staff at Deutsche Bank noticed the spelling error, and asked the Bangladesh Bank to clarify. At this point, a series of other nefarious transactions linked to the heist were spotted, and all of them were cancelled. The grand total of the remaining transactions was around $850 to $870 million.

The hackers still managed to steal $81 milllion, which has not been recovered at this stage. The identity of the hackers remains unknown as well, which makes recovering any money very difficult. It's believed that the hackers had deep knowledge of the Bangladesh Bank's security systems, which allowed them to perform the heist remotely, potentially from another country.

If the heist was successful, it would have been one of the largest of all time. However, getting away with $81 million is still an impressive feat, and authorities will be scrambling for answers as to how this heist managed to take place.

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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
I could live with $81 million. I would guess that it might be some group since they were going for so much.
 
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MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
The hackers still managed to steal $81 milllion, which has not been recovered at this stage.
Strange... in the story linked, they say some of the money has been recovered. But it's at the end under the line MONEY RECOVERED, so maybe it was a late update. They said they got some of it back, but didn't say how much.

Where's the props for the bank employee who didn't see the misspelling and just correct it and send it along. Instead he/she decided to check other transactions. Good work! I'd be asking for a bonus :)
 
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Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
...except they stole 81 million dollars and no one has any idea who they are...?
That makes it an exception? They stupidly screwed it up, that makes it stupid, no exceptions. 81 million is nothing in todays economy.
Yah maybe 81 million monopoly cash is nothing... just on the interests you would be 10 times over an already good salary, but... if you say it's nothing
 

Technician

TS Addict
That's why a guy with 9.2 billion that lost all but 100 million investing in VW sat on the railroad tracks and committed suicide.
 

EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
...except they stole 81 million dollars and no one has any idea who they are...?
That makes it an exception? They stupidly screwed it up, that makes it stupid, no exceptions. 81 million is nothing in todays economy.
Dude, you post too much for the sake of posting. I first noticed you when I saw you had 400+ posts, in an article I commented, and thought "Who's this guy? It seems he has a lot of time around but to me he comes out of nowhere!" Then I did a quick check on your profile and saw that you joined less than a month before I first noticed you. 400+ posts in less than a month?! Then I see you posting in practically every article -I don't read all the articles, but most of them-, sometimes more than once without much content [I saw a following comment to yourself clarifying the first one was a joke when you weren't even questioned about it].

I'm telling you this in a nice way. You seem to have a lot of enthusiasm, but keep yourself more thoughtful or everything may backfire and gain a reputation you don't want.

Now, saying $81m is nothing nowadays is like saying you can barely live with or that $1m itself is insignificant. And before you reply with the easiest answer, of course everything is relative: $81m is nothing to the richest man in the world; while $20 may be a fortune to a kid. ikesmasher was of course referring to living comfortably with all the basic needs for a lifetime and for the following generations. Then again, there is the famous "easy comes, easy goes". But that is just assuming the thieves want to attract to themselves that much attention; without assuming, is enough for setting for life.
 

Technician

TS Addict
Everyone makes mistakes, I want to see you hack your way into 80 million dollars. Then you can brag about not making spelling mistakes which allowed you to make even more.
I am not a thief, My dignity is worth far more to me and my family than money. I have honestly earned or allowed my money to earn every cent I have and it's priceless.
Also, not being a thief makes me smarter than these bozos.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
Also, not being a thief makes me smarter than these bozos.
Now you are talking about something I can agree with. But then they did appear to get away. For the time being there hasn't been any repercussions, aside from the spelling error. So the gamble seems to be paying off. Calling them dumb for succeeding (even if it wasn't a 100% success) in something you or I would likely get caught at, is worse than "the pot calling the kettle black".
 

Technician

TS Addict
This is criminal this is insane but sounds adventurous too, this money is legit because it is hard earned
Sounds like you had great parents with high moral values and ethics. Or maybe you just didn't learn.
Obviously you don't believe theft is earning lest someone come and earn all you have at gunpoint.
Must be an obvious attempt at sarcasm.