Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Bangladesh IT Expert Missing After Bank Heist Remarks

A Bangladeshi cyber security expert has gone missing, his family said Friday, days after he said officials at the central bank bore some responsibility for an $81 million theft from its foreign exchange account.

A Bangladeshi cyber security expert has gone missing, his family said Friday, days after he said officials at the central bank bore some responsibility for an $81 million theft from its foreign exchange account.

Hackers stole the money from the Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on February 5 and managed to transfer it electronically to accounts in the Philippines.

IT expert Tanvir Hassan Zoha, who said he was helping the government investigate the crime, told a local TV station last week that “apathy” over security at Bangladesh Bank had contributed to the audacious theft.

Zoha has not been seen since Wednesday night when he was picked up on his way home from work in the capital Dhaka, his wife Kamrun Nahar said, citing a friend who was with him.

“Several men in plainclothes stopped their auto-rickshaw and put them in two different vehicles. Later they dropped Yamir (Zoha’s friend) on a road blindfolded but took Zoha with them,” Nahar told AFP.

“We’ve not heard anything from him since then,” the wife said, saying police had not filed a case on her husband’s disappearance.

The heist has hugely embarrassed the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and raised alarm over the security of the country’s foreign exchange reserves of over $27 billion.

The central bank governor and his two deputies lost their jobs following the theft and the government has been scrambling to contain the damage from the spiraling scandal.

Zoha, 34, told Ekattor TV station on March 11 that “the database administrator of the (Bangladesh Bank) server cannot avoid responsibility for such hacking”.

The government committee probing the case had “noticed apathy about the security system (of the server)” he said.

Authorities have denied that Zoha was working with them on investigating the case.

Police have yet to make any comment on Zoha’s disappearance.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told reporters Thursday that it was possible Zoha could have been picked up by law enforcers in the course of the investigation, but said he had no information.

A source told AFP that Zoha worked with Bangladesh police probing the murder case of an Italian aid worker who was shot dead allegedly by the Islamist militants in Dhaka last year.

Related: Faulty Printer Implicated in $81 Million Bangladesh Bank Heist

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Cybercrime

Video games developer Riot Games says source code was stolen from its development environment in a ransomware attack

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.

Cybercrime

Chinese threat actor DragonSpark has been using the SparkRAT open source backdoor in attacks targeting East Asian organizations.

Application Security

PayPal is alerting roughly 35,000 individuals that their accounts have been targeted in a credential stuffing campaign.