Investigators initially suspected the hackers who stole $81 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year while posing as Bangladeshi bankers weren't actually from Bangladesh. Now, they're apparently pointing the finger at North Korea. While investigators believe Chinese individuals or businesses carried out the attack, they suspect North Korea directed "one of the biggest bank robberies of modern times," sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Officials confirmed that theory, per Reuters. Sources say investigators have linked the code used in the robbery to the 2014 Sony hack, which the FBI previously blamed on North Korea.
Private security researchers have also said both attacks used similar code and techniques. "If that linkage is true, that means a nation-state is robbing banks," says Richard Ledgett, the deputy director of the National Security Agency. "That is a big deal; it's different." Some, however, say the hackers of the New York Fed—who may be responsible for similar attacks against banks in Ecuador and Vietnam—could have altered code from the Sony attack, which the US government later released, meaning there may be no link to North Korea at all. Charges against the Chinese suspects are possible, while Treasury authorities are also considering sanctions, reports the Journal. (Read more North Korea stories.)