In a startling disclosure, United Nations Security Council panel of experts have submitted a 378 pages report in which it is being said that it was the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) which was behind the Cosmos Bank heist that siphoned off Rs 94 crore recently.
The Cosmos Bank Chairman Milind Kale has, however, refused to comment when Indian Cooperative raised the issue. Kale did inform that the auditing results of the UCB currently underway is very encouraging and the ghost of heist is past the UCB Bank’s growth story. “I will share with you the details when this is finalized”, he added.
Coming to the report, it says that Kim Jong Un govt of North Korea is getting sophisticated every day in cyberattacks and Cosmos Bank robbery was one of the successful criminal ventures of the rogue state.
“The Panel notes a trend in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s evasion of financial sanctions of using cyberattacks to illegally force the transfer of funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges,” read the report.
It bears recall that the much touted meeting of US President Donald Trump with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi last month proved a damp squib when the former “walked out” of the meeting. Trump sought a guarantee that Pyongyang would stop testing its missiles and nuclear weapons while North Korea demanded the lifting of the economic sanctions.
Talking about the Cosmos Bank attack, it bears recall that a proxy server was created of a server located at Cosmos Bank premises. Rs 80.5 crore were initially transferred to a foreign bank in 14,849 transactions of the debit card, and another Rs 13.9 crore transferred in a SWIFT transaction.
None of the fraudulent transactions are debited to any of the customers’ accounts.
Experts also fear that the case of Cosmos Bank case may be becoming a tug of war between two warring nations-USA and North Korea. Earlier, The United States responded to these attacks by issuing a ‘FASTCash Campaign’ alert” for North Korea.
Besides the heist, the current report also examined the implementation of the UN sanctions imposed on North Korea for its nuclear weapons program.
The report says the Cosmos attack was “a more advanced, well-planned and highly coordinated operation that bypassed three main layers of defence contained in International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) banking/ATM attack mitigation guidance”.