Monday, March 7, 2016

Burning Chrome

This was originally the title of a short story by William Gibson that told the tale of a daring hacker and a very successful (wealthy) nightclub chain called Chrome. The hacker discovered that the clubs security wasn't as good as they thought and set about transferring the clubs entire monetary assets to Parts Unknown. It cost him as I remember, 20% off the top, but hiring the services of a really big reputable bank doesn't come cheap.

That story was written in 1982. Today it seems, someone, suspected to be Chinese, hacked into the N.Y. Fed and transferred some $100M from the national account of Bangladesh to Parts Mostly Unknown.

This might be an individual effort which would net someone enough in multiple accounts worldwide to get airline tickets out of China, multiple new passports, multiple additional airline tickets, and a comfortable retirement in one of the better suburbs of Parts Unknown.

This might also be a test run on the part of the Chinese government to see how hard it might be to electronically bankrupt a bothersome foreign government. Then again it might be an inside job, some drone in the Bangladeshi government looking to retire early on his own terms.

Bank heists usually only make the local papers but $100M is a nice haul even in N.Y. Think we'll hear about this on the evening news?


Merle Morrison said...

I sure hope it is just some drone!
The other option is terrifying - much worse than crashing the power grid!


David Aitken said...

Check out Glenn's column: