Despite initial disbelief, the story of $100 million being stolen from the Bangladesh central bank through the New York Federal Reserve has in fact been confirmed. After the hackers, who are thought to be Chinese, managed to steal the money from the account, they then erased the trail by selling the stolen money to local casinos and on the Filipino black market. The funds were then moved into an account overseas, making the entire process difficult to trace back to its source.
Embarrassingly, the entire incident appears to have happened when someone from the Philippines requested the $100 million sum and the Fed complied without any suspicions. Yes, hackers simply asked the New York Fed to give them $100 million from the Bangladeshi national account and the Fed did it with no questions asked. Bangladeshi Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith blames the NY Fed, claiming that “It can’t be that they don’t have any responsibility.”
But the story continues, with rumors that the theft may be part of a larger conspiracy to steal as much as $1 billion from the Bangladeshi account. An earlier request of a similar nature had been made previously by the same source, only the initial request for $870 million was blocked. The Fed claims no wrongdoing in the second request for $100 million since all protocol had been followed and all Swift codes had been authenticated. No signs of hacking were found on the system. Reports confirm, however, that the recipient of the withdrawal was not only Filipino, but were actually three Filipino casinos. No further effort appears to have been made from the Fed to verify to transfer.