A spelling mistake in an online bank transfer instruction helped prevent a nearly $US1 billion ($NZD1.5 billion) heist last month involving the Bangladesh central bank and the New York Federal Reserve.
Unknown hackers still managed to get away with about $US80 million ($NZ118 million), one of the largest known bank thefts in history.
Four transfers for a total of about $US81 million went through. But a fifth, for $US20 million, to a Sri Lankan non-profit organisation was held up because the hackers misspelled the name of the organisation, Shalika Foundation.
Hackers misspelled “foundation” calling it “fandation”, prompting an alert, which stopped the transaction.
Subsequent transactions that were stopped totalled $US850-$US870 million, one of the officials said.
Bangladesh Bank has said it has recovered some of the money that was stolen, and is working with anti-money laundering authorities in the Philippines to try to recover the rest.
Last year, Russian computer security company Kaspersky Lab said a multinational gang of cyber criminals had stolen as much as $US1 billion from as many as 100 financial institutions around the world in about two years.