Bangladesh Bank Parts Company with Mandiant – Report

The Bangladesh Bank is reported to have severed ties with security consultancy Mandiant, which was hired to investigate the now infamous $81 million cyber raid on the bank.

The decision to end the contract was made unanimously by the board, which decided that it can handle matters from here on, director Jamaluddin Ahmed told Reuters.

Sources told the newswire that FireEye-owned Mandiant had been paid around $280,000 for in the region of 700 hours of work – with the high cost a contributing factor to the bank’s decision.

The security firm had reportedly asked for an additional 570 hours to complete its investigation.

It’s still possible that the South Asian nation’s central bank will engage the help of an external security provider to deal with the fall-out from the major attack earlier this year.

Sophisticated hackers made off with $81 million back in February after transferring money from the Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank into several accounts in the Philippines.

The cyber heist – thought to be the largest of its kind ever – would have hit $1bn, but a spelling mistake in routing instructions raised the alarm and a fifth transfer of $20m was stopped.

A war of words soon erupted between the bank and executives at Swift, which runs the eponymous global bank transfer platform.

Since Bangladesh Bank was hit, other lenders who are also Swift customers have admitted they’ve suffered similar attacks.

It also emerged that Swift codes for at least seven international banks was written into malware code used in the raid on Vietnam's Tien Phong Bank, highlighting the potential scale and sophistication of the campaign.

For its part, Swift has repeatedly claimed its infrastructure has not been compromised, and it has sought to wrestle the initiative back from the black hats by releasing a new set of guidelines for customers designed to improve baseline security.

A FireEye statement sent to Infosecurity pointed out that the “pricing and duration” of its work is unique to each incident the firm is hired to investigate.

It added:

“We have uncovered and provided Bangladesh Bank and the global financial community extensive data about this unprecedented financial attack and how to prepare for the future, and will continue to support law enforcement and the industry past the close of our engagement.”

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