State-sponsored hackers have been all over the news lately. I’m sure that by now you’ve heard allegations of Russia attempting to impact the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Throwing a wrench in other nations’ political processes isn’t the only result state-sponsored actors are looking for. Stealing money is another one of their top goals. You’re not going to believe who could have been behind a recent heist at the Federal Reserve.
Who ripped off the Federal Reserve?
We’re talking about last year’s heist at the Bangladesh central bank’s account held at the Federal Reserve of New York. Hackers were able to steal $81 million through multiple money transfers.
The theft could have been much worse though. The cybercriminals were attempting to steal around $900 million but fell short because of a typo. They requested that money goes to a Sri Lankan non-profit called the “Shalika Foundation” but spelled it “Shalika Fandation.”
That typo prompted Deutsche Bank, which was routing the money, to do a little digging and realize that the “Shalika Foundation” didn’t exist. From there, the entire scheme quickly unraveled and the Bangladesh central bank kicked the hackers out of its systems. But not before they got away with the $81 million.
It turns out that North Korea may have been behind this caper. Digital evidence shows that the hacking group, Lazarus, used a connection from an IP address located in North Korea to pull off the theft.
One fear is, North Korea could be using stolen money in the development of its nuclear arsenal. The European Union is so concerned about North Korea’s nuclear program that it just announced increased sanctions on the East Asia country.
The North Korean government has denied these allegations, of course. Further investigations will be needed to definitively name the culprit and try to recoup the stolen money.