The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is currently investigating the implication of North Korea in a multi-million bank account heist. The central bank of Bangladesh was in charge of guarding the valuable funds. As a consequence, authorities fear that this is the beginning of a new wave of cyber warfare. The total amount of stolen finances is estimated to be of $81 million.
The Multi-Million Bank Account Heist Used the Swift System
The Cold War proved that there are other ways of fueling a conflict between two nations besides weapons. The modern world may have just created a new such medium for war, namely the web. Cyber warfare might have just become a reality. The office of the United States attorney received a new lead in the case of the February 2016 heist. A person who was forbade from giving public statements hinted at a possible implication of the North Korea government in the felony.
The major theft event used an online payment messaging application called Swift. There are around 11,000 banks and corporation that employ this program for financial transfer purposes. Hackers managed to meddle in the system of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Afterward, the cyber thieves convinced the system than it needs to move funds from the central bank of Bangladesh to a number of Philippines accounts.
Authorities Found a Link Between Bangladesh Bank Heist and 2014 Sony Pictures Breach
Several months after this major theft, authorities managed to track down signs of other bank attacks in Vietnam and Ecuador. These schemes showed similarities with the original one, including the use of the Swift system. Moreover, a team of researchers that is working on this particular case found something groundbreaking. They identified one piece of code that played an important role in the December 2014 cyber attack of Sony Pictures. This is the moment the two cases were combined and started using each others’ resources and intel for cracking the identity of the cyber thieves.
The United States did everything possible to keep the link between North Korea and the 2016 bank account heist in secrecy. However, the deputy director of the National Security Agency, Richard Ledgett, did make a general statement regarding the case on Tuesday. He feared that if the two major cyber thefts prove to be connected in the end, this discovery will announce the beginning of cyber warfare.
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