Billion dollar bank heist foiled by one spelling mistake

bangladeshi bank heist foiled by spelling mistake internet hacking dark net
Proofing your work is important. We’ve known that since school days, but you would think when you have the chance to swipe a billion dollars in an international bank heist, you’d make sure you dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. That didn’t happen in the case of one hacking group though, which made away with a comparatively paltry $80 million because they made a spelling mistake when transferring the ill gotten gains.

The hack in question took place at the start of February and targeted Bangladesh’s central bank, which was breached in a manner that did not initially raise any suspicion. The hackers then used that official channel to contact the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and began issuing transfer orders that sent millions overseas.

Requests successfully directed over $80 million to accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, with further planned payments of over $850 million. However one $20 million payment request was flagged by the routing bank, Deutsche Bank, when it was noticed that the name of the recipient organization, Shalika Foundation, was spelled “fandation” (as per the Guardian).

Related: Department of Defense recruits white hats for ‘Hack the Pentagon’ program

With that request flagged, all others were halted as a routine security measure and it was soon discovered that these transactions were anything but approved by the Bangladeshi bank. Some of the sums were also noted for their surprising size, though individually that may not have been enough to manually vet the transfers.

The Bangladeshi bank holds billions of dollars with the Federal Reserve and could potentially have seen much of it disappear if this spelling mistake had not triggered a further inquiry.

Now, more than a month on from the hack, officials at the Bangladeshi bank say that they have been able to recover some of the funds, but that there are still many millions outstanding. Moreover, it’s still not entirely sure how the bank was hacked in the first place.

The bank sees it as extremely unlikely that those who perpetrated the hack will ever be caught, suggesting that this was a highly successful digital attack. Although the nationality of the thieves is unknown, they are thought to originate from outside of Bangladesh.

Suggestions from security analysts indicate that the hack would have required intimate knowledge of the Bangladeshi bank’s internal systems, so it’s possible someone on the inside was either involved, or that the bank’s information was otherwise compromised.

Mobile

No cash. No talking. What goes next? Welcome to your ‘app-tive’ digital life

Bank of America's 2018 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found mobility has changed our lives. Mobile tech influences how most of us communicate, meet people, build relationships, and handle money as we move toward a cashless society.
Gaming

Owners of ROM sites ordered to pay Nintendo more than $12 million

An federal court judge in Arizona has awarded Nintendo more than $12 million in damages in its lawsuit with the owners of two popular ROM websites. The sites must also be transferred to Nintendo's control.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Computing

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Crypto hangover could take blame for Nvidia’s potential GeForce RTX 2060 delay

Nvidia's delay in announcing a ship date for its GeForce RTX 2060 GPU could be due to a burst in the cryptocurrency mining bubble. Executives blamed the crypto hangover for an oversupply of inventory on existing GTX 1060 cards,
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
Computing

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.
Computing

Save $900 on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more with Lenovo’s Cyber Monday sales

In the latest set of holiday sales, Lenovo is heavily discounting its fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon and other popular Windows laptops and 2-in-1s for the holiday shopping season.
Computing

Want to make one hard drive act like two? Here's how to partition in Windows

If you don't want all of your files stored in one place but only have one drive to work with, partitioning is your best way forward. Here's how to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, step by step.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up speech-to-text in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX330UA -- will get the job done without digging too deep into your pockets.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…