Do you really think typographical errors don’t matter much? I read an article recently from The Washington Post about a typo that thwarted a $1 billion cyber heist on a Bangladesh bank. It seems that the hackers broke into the Bangladesh central bank’s system in February and stole the credentials necessary to authorize payment transfers. They used the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”) to make nearly three dozen hefty money transfers from the Bangladesh bank’s account with the FRBNY to other overseas financial institutions.
The hackers were able to make four transfers to accounts in the Philippines totaling about $80 million. The fifth request for a transfer of $20 million to an apparently fictitious Sri Lankan nonprofit group was flagged by the routing bank as suspicious because the transfer request said “fandation” rather than “foundation.” When the routing bank asked for confirmation, the Bangladesh bank was able to stop the transaction. The other requests waiting to be processed—totaling $850 million to $870 million—were also stopped.
While it appears there is some finger-pointing going on about who is at fault and threats of international lawsuits, it was a knowledgeable person with obviously good proofreading skills who was paying attention who actually halted a potential $1 billion crime. Proofreading matters!