Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has tightened its fund transfer system, particularly in overseas payment, to avert any error or forgery in future, officials said.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, has introduced double- check system as a failsafe measure following the stealing of US$101 million from Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserve account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in early last month.
Under the latest system, officials of the BB are issuing manual instructions over the telephone besides placing online orders (through SWIFT network) for transfer of its funds deposited with different central banks, including the US Fed.
Concerned officials of the central bank have been directed to ensure three-tier security in case of sending payment advice using SWIFT network.
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Cybercriminals have digitally stolen US$101 million from Bangladesh’s foreign-exchange reserves deposited with the US Federal Reserve Bank. Nearly US$20 million of it was recovered from Sri Lanka.
The lion’s share of the booty landed in the Philippines—and that is reported to have been squandered through gaming in casinos, among other matters of misdealing.
Meanwhile, a two-member expert team of SWIFT is helping the BB officials to update their systems and now scanning its network at the central bank to find any clue to the hacking of the BB systems, according to the BB officials..
The SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) team is also collecting information on cyber- security systems, including back office under Accounts and Budgeting Department of the central bank.
SWIFT provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardised and reliable environment.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police that started probe into the cyber heist continued their hunt for the clue inside the BB precincts, ahead of their meet with an FBI team.
A team of the CID once again visited several departments of the central bank Saturday and gathered information and examined documents during the inspections.
They especially visited the departments of IT and Payment system and talked to the officials to ascertain whether there were any lapses or loopholes.
They are examining evidences and statements of the BB officials to identify local lackeys, if any, involved in the cyber-theft.
The CID will hold a meeting with a team of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation over the cyber heist of the BB account with the Fed today (Sunday) at the central office of CID. The meeting was scheduled for Friday, but deferred until Sunday as massive spadework in the probe has been underway.
The three-member probe committee formed by the government to investigate the heist is likely to start work on Sunday.
Head of the committee and former BB Governor Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin, while talking to a group of journalists at a local hotel on Saturday, did not say anything in this regard. The committee will submit a preliminary report in 30 days and a full report in 75 days.
The committee will look into how the illegal payment instructions were issued from the BB and to whom. It will also examine whether the steps taken by the central bank to prevent the payment were appropriate.
It will evaluate the reasons behind concealing the information on the heist from higher authorities and find out possible involvement or negligence on part of the central bank officials.