March 22, 2016 by

Bangladesh Bank Hack Security Researcher Goes Missing

A 34-year-old security researcher who was a part of the investigations following the $81 million cyber heist of the NY Fed account belonging the Bangladesh central bank has gone missing, days after accusing the banks officials of negligence.

Tanvir Hassan Zoha, a security researcher was investigating the recent cyber heist that targeted Bangladesh’s central bank. Altogether, the hackers stole $81 million from the bank’s Federal Reserve account in New York.

During his investigation, Zoha believed that the yet-unknown hackers used malware that was installed on the bank’s computer network weeks prior to the heist. The malware, Zoha believed, was central to the scheme which saw the cybercriminals gain the necessary credentials routinely used for payment transfers.

These credentials enabled the cybercriminals to transfer large sums of money from the Bangladesh Bank’s NY Fed account that were subsequently wired to accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Notably, Zoha accused senior officials at the Bangladesh bank of using weak security procedures and gross negligence leading up to one of the largest cyber heists in recent times.

Related read: Bangladesh Bank: Hackers Tried to Steal $951 Million from US Fed Account

Through the course of the investigation, Zoha disappeared last week on Wednesday night. According to sources close to the security researcher’s family, Zoha was travelling back home before his disappearance.

Although government officials released a statement confirming Zoha’s disappearance, they did not provide further details about an investigation that was subsequently opened after the security researcher’s disappearance.

Related read: Chinese Man in Philippines Makes Millions from Cyber Heist

Zoha’s family members have revealed the comments made by Zoha about bank officials’ negligence and overall carelessness during a public press conference may have resulted in his disappearance.

The fallout saw Atiur Rahman, the Central bank’s governor along with two of his deputy governors quit as a result of the hugely embarrassing bank heist.

Image credit: Flickr.

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LIFARS is a digital forensics and cybersecurity intelligence firm based in New York City. LIFARS is ranked as one of the top Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigations companies in 2016 and as one of the top cybersecurity companies in the New York metropolitan area for 2015 on the Cybersecurity 500 – a directory of the hottest and most innovative companies to watch in the cybersecurity industry.

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