clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A typo partially stopped hackers from stealing $1 billion from a Bangladesh bank

Flickr CC by 2.0

Hackers attempted to steal up to $1 billion from Bangladesh's central bank last month — but their plans were partially stopped after they made a typo in an online transfer request, Reuters reported.

The hackers allegedly gained access to the bank's transfer codes, using them to send dozens of payment transfer requests totaling $1 billion to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to Reuters. The requests involved shifting money from the Bangladesh bank to banks in the Philippines, where the funds were then transferred to casinos and converted into chips, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The chips were then cashed out and sent to Hong Kong bank accounts.

The word "foundation" was spelled "fandation"

Four of those transfer requests totaling $81 million went through. But another request for $20 million was stopped when a routing bank noticed that the name of the transfer's recipient was misspelled. The transfer indicated it was for a Sri Lankan non-profit organization, but the word "foundation" in the non-profit's title was spelled "fandation." The routing bank asked for clarification on the typo, and the Bangladesh bank stopped the funds from going through.

Eventually, the Federal Reserve got suspicious about the unusually high transfer requests coming from the Bangladesh bank, which ultimately alerted the bank to the theft. But the Bangladesh central bank says the Federal Reserve should have done more to stop the hackers, according to Vice. The Bangladesh government plans to sue the Federal Reserve in order to recover some of the funds that were lost, the Dhaka Tribune reported.