A Philippine senator says Chinese hackers were likely involved in the cyber heist at the Bangladesh Central Bank, noting the network of Chinese people involved in the routing of stolen funds in Manila, reports Reuters.
Over $951 million was stolen by unidentified hackers from the Bangladesh Central Bank, with almost all attempted transfers going through the Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC).
Although most transfers were blocked, $81 million was able to make it to four accounts at a single RCBC branch in Manila before distributed to casinos and gambling agents in Manila.
“The hacking was done, chances are, by Chinese hackers,” said Senator Ralph Recto in a telephone interview with Reuters. “Then they saw that, in the Philippines, RCBC particularly was vulnerable and sent the money over here.”
However, Beijing was quick to hit back on accusations that Chinese hackers were involved, saying the accusations were “complete nonsense” and “really irresponsible”, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said during a media briefing.
“If the relevant side, no matter who they are, tries to make some accusations, they must provide some factual evidence instead of using (words like) ‘maybe, perhaps’ or making other guesses like that. This is extremely irresponsible, and not at all beneficial to cyberspace cooperation in the international community,” said Kang.
Recto said he couldn’t prove the hackers were Chinese, but was merely “connecting the dots” after a series of Senate hearings into the scandal.