Chinese hackers possibly behind Bangladesh bank heist: Philippines senator

Manila : Possibly Chinese hackers were behind a 81 million dollar theft from the Bangladesh central bank, one of the world’s biggest cyber heists, said a senator in the Philippines , Ralph Recto, during a Senate inquiry in capital Manila.

On February, unidentified hackers had stolen money from the Bangladesh Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York funneled it through a Manila branch of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) to casinos and gambling agents in the Philippines.

“It would appear they are not Filipino hackers (but) possibly Chinese hackers. They saw the vulnerability in the (Philippines) banking system or one bank, “he said reports Daily Star.

No further details were given by Recto but he was told that the money was brought into the Philippines by two Chinese high-rollers.

The hackers infiltrated in to the computer systems of Bangladesh Bank and tried stealing 951 million dollars from its account at the New York Fed but most transactions were later blocked. However, 81 million dollars was transferred into four accounts of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp at a single Manila branch.

According to reports, each account were opened with $500 deposit and remained inactive for almost a year. The funds were later transferred to a foreign exchange broker and further distributed.

Maia Santos Deguito, the ex- branch manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp, yold the senate committee that she was a pawn in a high-stakes chess game played by giants in international banking and high finance.

In a previous hearing, RCBC’s president and lawyer had pointed the finger at Deguito and said that branch managers could handle transactions totaling hundreds of millions of dollars even without prior approval from head office.

Meanwhile, the inquiry continues on April 12. (ANI)