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Banks further alerted on cyberattack threat

Bangladesh has alerted banks again about the threat of a cyberattack, asking them to strengthen cyber security and other necessary measures to avoid the risk of being hacked.

In view of this, the banks have increased surveillance on online transactions and ATM booths. Some banks have started closing ATM booths at night.
Last Thursday, the Financial Institutions Department of the Finance Ministry sent a letter to the banks. It said the North Korean-based hacker group Beagle Boys was involved in stealing money from Bangladesh Bank’s reserves in 2016. They can also withdraw money from ATM booths of different banks in Bangladesh and hack into Swift network.

Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam, managing director and chief executive officer of state-owned Agrani Bank, said: “We have already taken necessary measures after cyber hacking alert by the Finance Ministry.”

Previously, in August, the Bangladesh Government’s Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) informed the central bank that a North Korean hacker group (Beagle Boys) is attempting to attack Bangladesh’s banking industry.

Then, Bangladesh Bank alerted banks about the risk of cyber hacking.

After the cyberattack alert, most of the banks have restricted their automated teller machines (ATMs), cards and online transactions and strengthened their security measures.

Some banks have suspended their ATM booths transactions from 12am to 6am, EMV transactions from ATMs, BEFTN transactions and SWIFT transactions.
On February 5, 2016, unidentified hackers stole $101 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using fake orders on the SWIFT payment system. It was one of the biggest cybercrimes in the world.