A group of hackers have failed to steal almost $1 billion (about RM4.1 billion) from the New York Federal Reserve due to a simple typo. The hackers targeted the Bangladesh central bank and stole credentials that would allow them to request money transfers.
Once the credentials were obtained, the Federal Reserve was bombarded by requests for fund transfers from Bangladesh Bank accounts to others located in the Philippines and Sri Lanka. However, the plan fell apart when the group misspelled the name of the Shalika Foundation. The hackers had entered “fandation”; indicating that they did not have the benefit of a spellchecker.
Interestingly, the Federal Reserve failed to notice the typo. Instead, it was flagged by Deutsche Bank; through which the funds were being routed. The German bank contacted its Bangladeshi counterparts for verification and were told that there is no such thing as the Shalika Foundation.
At the same time suspicions were raised at the New York Federal Reserve due to the large number of requests coming through its system.
Overall, between $850-870 million (about RM3.4-3.5 billion) was stopped from being transferred out of the bank account. However, the hackers still managed to get away with about $80 million (about RM327 million) before they were stopped.
The Bangladesh central bank believes that the funds have been moved to casinos in the Philippines. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp has launched an investigation into the matter, but it is unlikely that the funds will be recovered.