Hackers had initiated malware through an email attachment while attacking Union Bank of India last July and stole the bank’s access codes for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to transfer funds to a bank account at Citigroup in New York, reported the Wall Street Journal on Monday (April 11). SWIFT is a system that lenders use for international transactions.

The codes were used to send transfer instructions for about $170 million to a Union Bank account at Citigroup Inc in New York. The bank had traced the money trail and blocked the movement of funds.

The attempt closely resembled the cyber theft which took place on Bangladesh’s central bank in 2016 where hackers stole more than $ 81 Million. Researchers at BAE Systems and Symantec say that some of the software and internet infrastructure in the global effort was also used in the Sony attack.

The cyber attack began after an employee opened an email attachment which resembled as sent by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which released the malware and allowed the hackers to steal the state-run bank’s data.

SWIFT had late 2016 said that some banks using its system had been attacked after the Bangladesh heist but did not specifically name Union Bank of India.

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