India bank hack ‘similar’ to $81m Bangladesh central bank heist

The bank had been able to block only one of the transfers worth $500,000. (Reuters)
Updated 19 February 2018
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India bank hack ‘similar’ to $81m Bangladesh central bank heist

NEW DELHI: Hackers who tried to steal nearly $2 million from India’s City Union Bank this month used tactics similar to those employed in the unsolved cyber heist of $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank in 2016, City’s CEO said on Monday.
The unknown hackers disabled the City printer connected to global payments platform SWIFT on Feb. 6, preventing the bank from receiving acknowledgement messages for three fraudulent payment instruction sent that evening until the next morning.
“Nobody suspected that it was an attack and thought it was a systemic network failure,” N. Kamakodi told Reuters by phone. “The system department people, everybody assembled, analyzed the problem, rebooted, they closed shop only around 10-10.30 in the night.”
The next morning, bank officials managed to reconcile the previous day’s transactions and found out “three transactions which were not originated from our bank.”
The bank had been able block only one of the transfers worth $500,000, while attempts were under way to retrieve the rest, he said. It first disclosed the heist on Saturday.
In the case of Bangladesh Bank, hackers infected the system with malware that disabled the SWIFT printer. Bank officials in Dhaka initially assumed there was simply a printer problem.
The hackers stole the money from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using fraudulent orders on SWIFT. The money was sent to accounts at Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.
Nearly two years later, there is no word on who was responsible and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator.
“We definitely see similarities between the Bangladesh case, and the similarities are being factored into the investigation,” Kamakodi said.
City Union, a small private lender based in south India, said the three money transfer instructions were sent via correspondent banks to accounts in Dubai, Turkey and China.


China cancels trade talks with US as tariff threats escalate

Updated 22 September 2018
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China cancels trade talks with US as tariff threats escalate

  • A mid-level delegation was due to travel to Washington ahead of Liu’s visit, but the trip has now been abandoned
  • China added $60 billion of US products to its import tariff list as it retaliated against US duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods

SHANGHAI: China has canceled upcoming trade talks with the United States and will not send vice-premier Liu He to Washington next week, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
The Wall Street Journal said a mid-level delegation was due to travel to Washington ahead of Liu’s visit, but the trip has now been abandoned.
Earlier this week, China added $60 billion of US products to its import tariff list as it retaliated against US duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods set to go into effect from Sept. 24.