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Sri Lankan authorities arrest two in Far Eastern International Bank cyberheist

Sri Lankan police arrested two people related to the hacking incident at Taiwan's Far Eastern International Bank Ltd., Bloomberg News reported Oct. 12, citing a Sri Lankan police media spokesman.

Police made an arrest last week when a man attempted to withdraw funds. Further investigations showed that the suspect transferred funds to another person, who surrendered earlier this week while being in possession of 2 million Sri Lankan rupees, said Ruwan Gunasekera.

The Taiwanese lender on Oct. 6 reported lost funds of less than US$500,000 after hackers infected the bank's computer systems with malware, and used it to transfer nearly US$60 million from customers' accounts to foreign destinations. The bank was able to trace back most of the lost funds.

The money was delivered through the SWIFT network to accounts in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the U.S., the report added, citing the bank's chief executive vice president Lin Jiann-jong. Lin said about US$46 million of the hacked funds have been recovered, with losses unlikely to exceed US$500,000.

The malware that attacked the bank's computer systems and affected several transactions has since been removed, the bank said in an Oct. 6 release.

SWIFT said in an emailed response that they have no indication if their network or core messaging services have been compromised.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau believes hackers may have controlled the lender's systems through servers in nations including the Netherlands and the U.S., it said in a statement.

As of Oct. 12, US$1 was equivalent to 153.72 Sri Lankan rupees.