Swift directly responsible for BB heist: Farashuddin | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Swift directly responsible for BB heist: Farashuddin


Dhaka – The government-formed probe body on the Bangladesh Bank reserve heist found the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) “directly responsible” for the $101 million stolen from Bangladesh’s treasury account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, unb news agency reported.
“Swift was directly responsible for the heist. But Bangladesh Bank or the New York Fed cannot deny their failures in checking the incident as well,” said Dr. Mohammad Farashuddin, the head of the committee, on Sunday while talking to reporters at Bangladesh Bank.Revealing the committee’s findings for the first time in public, Dr Farashuddin – himself a former governor of Bangladesh Bank – said that the Swift authorities had asked Bangladesh Bank to connect to its Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system through a letter. But it failed to provide any protection or control software for the BB system from malware.
Taking advantage of this technological oversight, the hackers entered into the Bangladesh Bank server and sent instructions to the New York Fed. The Fed executed some of these dodgy instructions without confirming their authenticity with Bangladesh Bank.
Dr Farashuddin said Bangladesh Bank officials were not found to be “directly involved” in the heist. “But their inefficiency, recklessness, irresponsible decision-making and ignorance are also responsible for the incident. The New York Fed is also responsible as it released the funds to individual accounts in Philippines and Sri Lanka.”
The New York Fed is not meant to transfer money to any private individual’s account, Dr Farashuddin reasoned, yet they did so. “So they cannot shift their responsibility,” he said.
Some $101 million, in a series of five transactions, was taken out from Bangladesh’s treasury account with the New Your Federal Reserve on February 5 by the cyber criminals. Dozens of similar requests for transferring funds out of the BB’s account were rejected however.
Following the incident, the government formed the 3-member investigation committee headed by Dr. Farashuddin on March 19.
The committee submitted its preliminary last month to Finance Minister. Tthe final report is yet to be submitted, but Dr. Farashuddin shared some of the committee findings with reporters today.
He said that for the stolen money to be recovered from the countries where the hackers took it away through the banking system, it needs a coordinated effort from the central bank, finance ministry and other concerned agencies.
He believed that the political parties’ support is also required for the recovery of the Bangladesh’s money.
He said Bangladesh Bank officials showed their gross ignorance in dealing with the case. Responding to a query, the investigation committee chief said the malware that the cyber criminals used in the hacking was also made from Pakistan and North Korea.


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