The Story of North Korean Hackers Nearly Looting $1 Billion From Bangladesh

The Lazarius Heist

Mr. K
7 min readApr 24


Photo credit:

Although the North Korean state practices a closed-door policy, it generates national income in a variety of ways, including black market arms sales. In the tech world, they also have a pretty feared team of hackers.

In 2016, a group of North Korean hackers planned an attack to steal $1 billion from a national bank in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, when the money transfer attempt was almost successful, a small glitch thwarted the attempt. However, they still managed to steal $81 million.

How was this hacking incident carried out?

General overview of the Bangladesh Bank heist. Photo credit:

It all started with a malfunctioning printer. But not an ordinary printer, but a printer located at Bangladesh Bank. Bangladesh Bank is Bangladesh’s central bank and is responsible for overseeing the country’s currency reserves.

The exploited printer played an important role. It was located in a heavily guarded room on the 10th floor of the bank’s main office in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Its job was to print records of the millions of dollars in transfers entering and leaving the bank.

When bank staff found it malfunctioning at 8:45 a.m. on Friday, February 5, 2016, duty manager Zubair Bin Huda told investigators when questioned that they assumed it was a normal problem as it had happened several times before.

But that day’s problem was the first sign that Bangladesh Bank would have more problems that day. Hackers had broken into the bank’s computer network and were currently conducting the most audacious cyberattack ever. Their goal? To steal $1 billion.

To hack and transfer this much money from the bank, the group behind this bank robbery used fake bank accounts, charities, casinos, and an extensive network of associates. But who were these hackers, and where did they come from?

Following this incident, investigations revealed a possibility that the North Korean government may have sponsored this criminal organization. The involvement of North Korea as the prime…



Mr. K

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