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Bangla heist state sponsored, says FBI official

A Federal Bureau of Investigation official has claimed that the $81 million cyber heist involving Bangladesh Bank and the New York Federal Reserve in February 2016 was ‘state-sponsored’. The officer, Lamont Siller, who is based in the Philippines and who is involved in the investigations, however, did not elaborate. News reports suggested that this means that authorities in the United States are close to naming who carried out the cyber heist. Earlier US officials had bladed blamed North Korea in this regard. News reports in the US too have said US prosecutors were building potential cases that would accuse North Korea of directing the heist, and would charge alleged Chinese middlemen. Hackers had breached Bangladesh Bank’s systems and used the SWIFT messaging network to order the transfer of nearly $1 billion from its account at the New York Fed. The US central bank rejected most of the requests but filled some of them, resulting in $81 million being transferred to bank accounts in the Philippines. The money was quickly withdrawn and later disappeared in the huge casino industry in the country.

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