Hackers stuff up $800 million bank heist over spelling errorBy Tim Schiesser 31 comments
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.