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SWIFT issues statement refuting Bangladesh Bank hack allegations

SWIFT has issued a joint statement with the New York Fed and Bangladesh Bank but doesn't address the issue of how $81 million was stolen and which party was liable for the security breach.

False, inaccurate and misleading

Following allegations that software from SWIFT's financial platform was compromised during an attack on the central bank of Bangladesh in February 2016, in which $81 million was stolen, SWIFT has now issued the following statement:

“SWIFT rejects the false, inaccurate and misleading allegations made by Bangladesh Bank and Bangladesh Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials to Reuters. The accusations have no basis in fact. SWIFT was not responsible for any of the issues cited by the officials, or party to the related decisions. As a SWIFT user like any other, Bangladesh Bank is responsible for the security of its own systems interfacing with the SWIFT network and their related environment – starting with basic password protection practices – in much the same way as they are responsible for their other internal security considerations.”

$81m will be recovered and perpetrators brought to justice

SWIFT officials met New York Fed president William Dudley and the governor of Bangladesh Bank, Fazle Kabir, yesterday in Basel, Switzerland. After the meeting, SWIFT released this further statement:

“The parties also agreed to pursue jointly certain common goals: to recover the entire proceeds of the fraud and bring the perpetrators to justice, and protect the global financial system from these types of attacks.”

Statement lacks substance

However, the statement has not provided information about exactly how $81 million was stolen from Bangladesh Bank accounts, which specific part of the system or software was compromised and the agreed liability for this security breach, following the detailed discussions in Basel.  

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