Hackers managed to pinch $60m from the Far Eastern International Bank in Taiwan by infiltrating its computers last week. Now, most of the money has been recovered, and two arrests have been made in connection with the cyber-heist.
On Friday, the bank admitted the cyber-crooks planted malware on its PCs and servers in order to gain access to its SWIFT terminal, which is used to transfer funds between financial institutions across the world.
The malware’s masterminds, we’re told, managed to harvest the credentials needed to commandeer the terminal and drain money out of the bank. By the time staff noticed the weird transactions, $60m had already been wired to banks in the US, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.
According to the Taipei Times, the Taiwanese Premier William Lai has thrust a probe into the affair, and has asked the banking sector to investigate. Interpol has already begun its inquiries, and – thanks to security mechanism introduced between banks – all but $500,000 has been recovered.
Two arrests connected to the theft were made in Sri Lanka and, according to the Colombo Gazette, one of them is Shalila Moonesinghe. He’s the head of the state-run Litro Gas company and was cuffed after police allegedly found $1.1m of the Taiwanese funds in his personal bank account. Another suspect is still at large.