Monday, June 24, 2024

How North Koreans nearly executed billion-dollar hack

In 2016, North Korean hackers planned a $1-billion raid on Bangladesh’s national bank and came within a hair of complete success. It was only by a fluke that all but $81 million of the transfers were halted, report Geoff White and Jean H Lee. It all started with a malfunctioning printer at Bangladesh Bank, which is responsible for overseeing the currency reserves of a country in which millions live in poverty, the BBC reports. The printer was located inside a secure room on the 10th floor of the bank’s main office in Dhaka, the capital. Its job was to print out records of multi-million-dollar transfers flowing in and out of the bank. When staff found it wasn’t working at 8:45 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, “we assumed it was a common problem just like any other day,” duty manager Zubair Bin Huda later told police. “Such glitches had happened before.” In fact, this was the first indication that Bangladesh Bank was in a lot of trouble. Hackers had broken into its computer networks, and at that very moment were carrying out the most audacious cyber-attack ever attempted. Their goal: to steal a billion dollars.

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