Inter-banking system SWIFT has released a statement that firmly denies any responsibility in the $81 million cyber heist that saw the Bangladesh Central Bank lose its funds from its NY Federal Reserve account. The statement is in response to allegations from the Bangladesh Police Department that SWIFT is partly to blame for the cyber heist.
SWIFT has issued a response to comments wherein law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh asserted that SWIFT technicians had introduced security vulnerabilities into the banks’ network. The introduction of security holes, Bangladeshi police assert, occurred when technicians were trying to connect SWFT to Bangladesh’s real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system.
A statement from SWIFT read:
SWIFT rejects the false, inaccurate and misleading allegations made by Bangladesh Bank and Bangladesh Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials to Reuters. The accusations have no basis in fact.
Furthermore, the statement firmly placed the onus of security on the Bangladesh Bank, stating that it was “responsible for the security of its own systems interfacing with the SWIFT network.”
Bangladesh’s primary police investigator leading the investigative effort stuck with his assertion, Reuters reported, that loopholes were introduced after SWIFT’s attempt to integrate its network with the RTGS platform.
Notably, the lead investigator did not seek to engage in a debate with SWIFT and instead preferred international cooperation to identify the hackers who pulled off one of the biggest cyber heists ever.
A meeting that concluded today in Basel, Switzerland between the three parties affected by the heist saw the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Bangladesh Bank Governor and SWIFT representatives release a joint statement wherein they agreed to work together.
The parties also agreed to pursue jointly certain common goals: to recover the entire proceeds of the fraud and bring the perpetrators to justice, and protect the global financial system from these types of attacks.
Notably, U.S. investigators looking into the matter suspect multiple employees of the Bangladesh Bank to be involved in helping the hackers breach the system. The FBI has reportedly found at least one bank employee reportedly acting as an accomplice in the cyber heist.
Meanwhile, Bangladeshi police are looking for any signs of insider involvement in the heist but have come up short so far. A police officer stated the following after the FBI’s claim of a suspect within the bank.
If the FBI has uncovered evidence, they should share [it] with us.
Featured image from Shutterstock.