A YEAR after one of the most spectacular robberies of modern times, the authorities in Bangladesh are still trying to crack the case. Hackers into the country’s central bank sent instructions through SWIFT, a messaging network for cross-border payments, to transfer funds from the bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve to private accounts in Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Much of the stolen $101m has yet to be retrieved; the masterminds are yet to be identified. But the probe reveals the strikingly sophisticated, and international, nature of the crime.
After sifting 60 hard drives and thousands of pieces of paper, and interviewing dozens of people, investigators, talking anonymously in Dhaka, say they are confident about some details of the heist. They believe foreign hackers acted with inside help. The attackers’ coding style has raised suspicions of involvement by North Korea. This week the New York Times reported that American federal prosecutors were examining this possibility.