Report: Bangladesh asks NY Fed to join lawsuit for cyber heist

Report: Bangladesh asks NY Fed to join lawsuit for cyber heist

Officials from Bangladesh's central bank encouraged counterparts from the New York Federal Reserve last month to join a lawsuit against Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) for its role in routing stolen funds in an $81 million cyber heist, Reuters reported.

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The massive burglary took place in February 2016, the largest of several international thefts by the same still-at-large hacking group. The hackers transferred funds from Bangladesh Bank's accounts at the New York Fed to RCBC using the interbank communications network SWIFT. 

Representatives from SWIFT are also said to have been on a conference call between Bangladesh Bank and the New York Fed discussing a lawsuit against RCBC that took place last month. 

Bangladeshi officials claim that internal RCBC documents show employees were skeptical of the legitimacy of the transaction but nonetheless completed it.

The New York Fed halted the transaction when it had suspicions it was fraudulent, preventing the request from exceeding the $81 million heist and rising to billions.

Reuters reports the Fed has not indicated whether it would participate in the suit, but that it did agree to review a written proposal. 

The SWIFT bank robberies targeted banks as far-flung as New Zealand, Ecuador and Vietnam. 

U.S. officials and several cybersecurity firms have attributed the attacks to a North Korean, governmental hacking group known as Lazarus — the same hackers believed to have hacked Sony Pictures in 2014.