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Hackers' Typo Foils Their $1 Billion Wire Transfer Heist

Stolen credentials are no use without good spelling.

Let this be a lesson in the importance of good editors. Attackers successfully breached Bangladesh Bank's systems and stole its credentials for payment transfers, yet the small typo they made in a wire transfer request ultimately undid their efforts to steal $1 billion.

As Reuters reports today, after obtaining the credentials, attackers "bombarded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with nearly three dozen requests to move money from the Bangladesh Bank's account there to entities in the Philippines and Sri Lanka."

The first four transfers, totaling about $81 million, went through, but the fifth time: 

Hackers misspelled "foundation" in the NGO's name as "fandation," prompting a routing bank, Deutsche Bank, to seek clarification from the Bangladesh central bank, which stopped the transaction, one of the officials said.

This, plus the number and size of the transfers being sent to private entities instead of other banks raised the suspicions of The Fed. Although the initial $80 million was not recovered, between $850 to $870 million of attempted transactions were stopped.

Read more at Reuters.

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