In 2016, North Korean hackers stole $81 million from Bangladesh Bank. Known as ‘the Lazarus Heist,’ it is the largest cyber heist in the world till date.
The money was stolen from Bangladesh Bank’s account in New York Federal Reserve Bank. A shocking aspect of the historic heist was the hackers managed to access SWIFT, considered the most secure method for transferring large sums of money from bank to bank.
Even though most high-value financial transactions in the world are carried out through SWIFT, it has come under criticism from time to time for ‘inefficiency’. In 2018, for example, the Financial Times noted that transfers are “time-consuming, costly and lacking transparency.”
As US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a member of the congressional committee on financial services told BBC “with SWIFT underpinning so many billions of dollars of global trade, a hack like this [Lazarus Heist] could fatally undermine confidence in the system.”
Istiaque Ahmed agrees with this view. He is a blockchain developer and research scientist at the Blockchain Economy Research Center at…