An investigation into Bangladesh Bank says it has found SWIFT responsible for security weaknesses that may have allowed hackers to make off with $81 million dollars from the central bank's New York Fed account in February. Ryan Brooks reports
Trading blame over one of the biggest cyber heists ever. A Bangladeshi investigation pointing the finger at the SWIFT messaging network- -saying it opened the door for malware that hackers used to steal $81 million from the country's central bank in February. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEREMY WAGSTAFF, REUTERS ASIA TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT, SAYING: "SWIFT is an international monetary system. Its customers- 3,000 financial institutions, use its system to send messages. These messages are usually about the exchanges between banks. SWIFT helped to install their own system in Bangladesh Bank last October a few months before the heist. What the Bangladeshis say is that there was a problem with the installation of this, it left vulnerabilities, it left holes, through which the attackers were able to steal the money and send it overseas." SWIFT has already denied blame for the theft- insisting its system is secure. But after hackers got into Bangladesh Bank, they used that system to send requests for the millions they stole. Now there are signs it wasn't a one-off case... Late Sunday Vietnam's TPBank said it too was targeted by a hack last year aiming for a million dollars- -the hackers used - you guessed it - SWIFT. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEREMY WAGSTAFF, REUTERS ASIA TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT, SAYING: "They also seem to be getting more knowledgeable either through insiders or just their own inspection of software to understand how these banks work - we might possibly conclude that the TPBank case was a dry run for Bangladesh Bank. But whatever we learn, we get the sense that this is the tip of a larger iceberg." The $81 million hackers stole from Bangladesh disappeared into shady Philippines casinos - out of reach of local laws. From there, it's anyone's guess- so far none of it has been found.