Sri Lanka Makes Arrests in $60 Million Taiwanese Bank Cyberheist
Posted on October 12th, 2017
Far Eastern International Bank’s computer systems were attacked by malware that affected several transactions and has since been removed, the Taipei-based lender said in a statement. The money was sent via the Swift network to accounts in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the U.S., and about $46 million has been recovered, Chief Executive Vice President Lin Jiann-jong said by phone on Thursday. Any losses are unlikely to exceed $500,000, Lin said.Sri Lankan police arrested a suspect last week when he tried to withdraw funds, spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said by phone. Further investigations revealed that the suspect passed on money to another person, who surrendered to police this week in possession of 2 million Sri Lankan rupees ($13,000), Gunasekera added.

The incident follows the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank last year, which prompted Swift — the interbank messaging system used for money transfers — to develop measures to help lenders defend against cyberattacks.

Read this Bloomberg Markets magazine story on the Bangladesh hack

Two Taiwanese investigators and an official from Far Eastern International arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday night to probe the matter, according to Gunasekera. Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau believes hackers may have controlled the bank’s systems through servers in nations including the Netherlands and the U.S., the bureau said in a statement on Wednesday.

We have no indication that our network and core messaging services have been compromised,” Swift, whose full name is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, said in an emailed response to questions on the incident.

Far Eastern International said it will strengthen internal controls relating to its transactions using Swift and appoint external information-technology consultants to review the security of current systems and suggest any improvements.

— With assistance by Chanyaporn Chanjaroen

4 Responses to “Sri Lanka Makes Arrests in $60 Million Taiwanese Bank Cyberheist”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Since 2015, Sri Lanka is officially a money laundering destination. Money laundering is done even at the highest level of the government as can be seen from the bond fraud. A large part of this ill-gotten money was paid to Bank of Ceylon which lent the crooks the money they invested in Central Bank bonds.

    The 2015 budget officially invited investing foreign currency in Sri Lanka with a “no questions asked” policy. This was stated by the then finance minister who was removed due to fraud.

    This is only one incident of intended money laundering financial fraud the government officially encourages. Sri Lanka desperately needs foreign currency due to mindless borrowing and corruption.

  2. aloy Says:

    Perhaps this whole thing is a setup. If not why select a top man connected to GOSL. The Taiwanese bank says only $500,000 is lost. Probably that is the amount converted to Rupees and only about Rs. 15m is lost and is with Indians who have escaped.
    Hacking SWIFT code may not be that easy for Indians to do.

  3. aloy Says:

    Already people are questioning the legality of MS running with Hansa party. If I remember correctly, it was RK who paid the deposit of the president for election and he may know in and out about Shalila Munasinge.

  4. Senerath Says:

    @Dilrook
    Money Laundering business started much earlier than that, I guess in mid 90s among who had money earned in dritu methods. Billions had to be washed and cleaned before 2015 also.
    This is not ‘money laundering’ but Bank Robbery plus attempeted money laudering.

    I am still amzed how everybody except Wimal is silent of this bloody foreigner coming here, creating a party which later kick out MR from power and then occupying chariman position after the illegal 100 day’s Pal Horu took over. Surely among many others, inlcuding so called “NATIONLISTS” big heads should have known that this thief was on a tourist VISA. I am not sure whether Mahendran the other bank robber is also on a tourists VISA.
    Enoguh is enogh, now people must surround Araliyagaha Hora Guhawa and also Saivary Man’s Kitchen and capture the two biggest thieves.

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