The Spelling Mistake that Foiled a Bank Heist of Nearly $1 Billion - Atlas Obscura
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The Spelling Mistake that Foiled a Bank Heist of Nearly $1 Billion

The cyber thieves got tripped up by “foundation.”

(Photo: Remko van Dokkum/CC BY 2.0)

Cyber thieves who stole around $80 million in an attack on a Bangladeshi bank last month almost came away with nearly $1 billion. 

But their plan was foiled by the spelling of a word that most English-speakers probably learn in grade school: “foundation,” which, in this case, had been mangled to read “fandation.”

It was that simple misspelling that prompted bank officials to have a closer look at some of the transactions, ultimately putting things to a halt, Reuters reported

The massive hack occurred after the cyber thieves broke into Bangladesh Bank’s systems and requested several large transfers of money from the bank’s holdings in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Requests totaling tens of million dollars were initially approved, but another, which contained the misspelling, was flagged, and the transfers were halted by Bangladesh Bank. 

According to Reuters, it’s not even clear if the foundation, or fandation, or whatever it is, even exists. 

The disclosure of the spelling mistake comes after a Russian security firm said in February that a gang of hackers had stolen over $1 billion over the past two years.

Officials said that the foiled attack was still one of the largest bank heists in history. 

There was no word as to whether the misspelling was a fat-finger error or, maybe, just an honest mistake.