The story of how a group of security hackers managed to steal $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank while also accidentally letting a typo keep them from getting away with much more is almost too wild to believe. But Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s upcoming documentary Billion Dollar Heist from director Daniel Gordon is a reminder of just how real the 2016 shakedown was and why it had cybersecurity experts across the world on such high alert.
Billion Dollar Heist recounts how hackers were able to use the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication banking system — the messaging network banks across the world use to execute transfers between one another — to illegally move $101 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to an account at the Bangladesh Bank. Through a variety of interviews with different cybersecurity specialists and author Misha Glenny, Billion Dollar Heist frames the Bangladesh Bank robbery as just one data point in a bigger picture illustrating how sophisticated and prevalent cybercrime has become in recent years.
Glenny’s assertion in the trailer that coordinated cyberattacks pose the same kind of threat to humanity at large as pandemics, weapons of mass destruction, and climate change definitely sounds a bit on the sensational side of things. But the documentary’s thorough breakdown of what went into the execution of the Bangladesh Bank robbery and how hackers have stepped their games up in subsequent attacks might be enough to convince you to give it a watch when Billion Dollar Heist hits streaming services.
Billion Dollar Heist will be available to rent or own in the US beginning August 15th.