Cheap Routers Behind $80M Bank Hack

NicoleMotta - April 22, 2016 - 12:11 PM

Cheap Routers Behind $80M Bank Hack

According to new reports, the Bangladesh Bank heist is now being blamed for shoddy security and cheap routers.

Earlier this year, the central bank of Bangladesh lost over $80 million when its systems were hacked. Now, according to Reuters, the Forensic Training Institute of the Bangladesh police's criminal investigation department has discovered that the bank was vulnerable because it did not have a firewall, and used $10 second-hand routers to connect to the SWIFT global payment network. These shortcomings made it easy for the hackers to break into the bank's system, explained Mohammad Shah Alam, head of the Forensic Training Institute. "It could be difficult to hack if there was a firewall." The lack of sophisticated routers is also making it difficult for investigators to figure out exactly what the hackers did or where they might be located. The police believe that the bank and SWIFT should take the blame for these oversights.

When the bank hack was first announced, SWIFT said that the attack was related to an internal operational issue at Bangladesh Bank, and denied that it was compromised in any way. Since then, a Bangladesh Bank spokesperson said that SWIFT officials advised the bank to upgrade the routers after the heist. "There might have been a deficiency in the system in the SWIFT room," spokesman Subhankar Saha said in a statement, confirming the shoddy switches. "Two [SWIFT] engineers came and visited the bank after the heist and suggested to upgrade the system." Previous reports indicated that the hackers used malware to siphon the funds.

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