The recent theft of a reported $81M from the central bank of Bangladesh has been capturing headlines everywhere. The international payments network called SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) that is managed out of Belgium was the focus of this heist. While SWIFT appears in the news every once in a while when international politicians and groups consider applying sanctions on rogue regimes and the like, this time SWIFT is in the news for a very different set of reasons: issues connected to manipulation, malware, and theft.
As this incident continues to unfold, financial institutions have an opportunity to review best practices, decipher what might have happened, and understand how to think about this event in a broader context. With that in mind, here are a few comments on the incident: