Hackers broke into Bangladesh central bank accounts and used officials codes to steal more than $100 million in one of the most daring bank heists in history.
Bangladesh's central bank governor Atiur Rahman resigned taking moral responsibility for the massive fraud on the bank.
In the first week of February, criminal hackers breached the Bangladesh Bank's account at New York Federal Reserve and transferred the money to personal accounts in various countries by placing multiple transfer request.
While $81 million was transferred to a personal account in the Philippines, another $20 million was moved to a bank in Sri Lanka.
The transfer requests were fully authenticated with correct bank codes, and they appeared to be come from the Bangladeshi central bank's servers in the capital, the Fed said, according to the WSJ.
Officials in the Philippines identified a Chinese link to the heist saying as much as $30 million of the stolen funds were received in cash by a Chinese man in Manila.
Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi authorities have blamed the New York Federal Reserve, saying they could sue the Fed for the recovery of the funds.
The Fed declined to comment on the allegations, but said it was working with Dhaka to investigate the incident, WSJ reported. The Fed also said none of its systems were compromised.
Citing security experts, Reuters reported that the criminals had deep knowledge of the Bangladesh Bank and its internal workings.
Bangladesh Bank said it has partially recovered the stolen funds. "Our investigators have been working for about two weeks to recover the stolen funds and we have been able to recover some of it with the help of authorities in Manila," Muhammad Asaduzzaman, a spokesperson for the Bangladesh Bank, told the Wall Street Journal.
After details of the international caper emerged and Bangladesh started investigations, governor Rahman resigned on Tuesday.
The government said Rahman did not inform it of the developments fast enough, with the finance mininster, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, saying he learned of the heist from newspapers.