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FBI Still Doesn’t Have an Answer on Culprit Behind Bangladesh Cyber Heist

June 9, 2016, 3:47 PM UTC
General Economy Images In Bangladesh
Photograph by Bloomberg — Getty Images

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is working quickly to figure out who perpetrated the cyber heist of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February, but there are no definitive answers yet, an FBI official said on Thursday.

“We don’t have a definitive answer to that question in terms of exactly who. There are a number of different tentacles to that, that we are looking at. And we’re working as fast as we can to get a resolution,” said Richard Jacobs, assistant special agent in charge of the cyber branch at the FBI’s New York office.

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“For the time being, that’s about all I can say about the Bangladesh case,” he said at a cyber law conference here when asked whether the theft had the hallmarks of state-supported hackers or of an inside job.

In early February, thieves hacked into the central bank of Bangladesh’s interface with the global SWIFT messaging network and peppered the New York Fed with payment instructions. Most of the requests were blocked, but four were filled, amounting to $81 million that went to accounts in the Philippines and that remains missing.

The FBI, Bangladesh police, and other foreign authorities are investigating the incident, which is among the world’s biggest known cyber heists.