HKMA Fortifies Cybersecurity After Bangladesh Bank Heist

19 May AtoZForex, Vilnius —The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has started a program to improve its security in the wake of the Bangladesh Central Bank heist totalling 81 million dollars. The program is named Cybersecurity Fortification Initiative (CFI) according to the latest reports of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. It marks the latest safeguarding measure of HKMA, purposed to increase the cybersecurity levels at banks located in Hong Kong. The safety measure is structured under a three-pronged approach, much like the steps taken by counterparts from Vietnam to London.

Why HKMA fortifies cybersecurity?

The large-scale cyber heist of February in Bangladesh is currently under investigation by the FBI and private forensic experts in Dhaka. The major heist involved a steal of 81 million dollars from a Bangladeshi central bank account of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The historic cyber heist led to other fresh attacks on different central banks within the region. Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam stated that it had intercepted an attempted cyber crime that involved SWIFT messages of fraudulent nature, a replication of the technique employed in the heist from the Bangladesh Central Bank.

Singapore and the Philippines were joined by the Bank of England requesting banks to strengthen cyber security, due to the latest cybercrime developments. The HKMA fortifies cybersecurity by issuing a formal circular in the following week to banks indicating the supervisory requirement  of implementing the CFI.

Computer of a Bangladesh Bank official hacked

On a different note, it was revealed today that the computer of a Bangladesh Bank official got hacked during the cyber-heist of last February. The hackers were then able to use the official’s computer to carry out the Bangladesh Bank heist. The Bangladesh Ambassador, John Gomes shared this detail with the Philippine investigation panel, providing more insights on the stolen $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank. Building further, John Gomes mentioned that the hackers were neither Bangladeshi or Filipino. Lastly, no evidence was found that any employee of the Bangladesh Bank was directly involved with the $81 million cyber heist. 

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