How thieves successfully robbed a bank without ever entering the building : Planet Money In 2016, thieves tried to steal nearly a billion dollars from the Bank of Bangladesh's reserves without ever entering the building. And six years later, justice hasn't been so SWIFT. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

A SWIFT getaway

A SWIFT getaway

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1079528331/1079719988" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bank Vault of Midland Bank Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty Images

Bank Vault of Midland Bank

Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty Images

In 2016, thieves pulled off one of the biggest bank heists in history without even cracking a safe. A hacking team known as "The Lazarus Group" tried to steal nearly a billion dollars from the Bank of Bangladesh by exploiting the SWIFT network. SWIFT is the encrypted messaging system that over 11,000 banks in more than 200 countries use to move trillions of dollars every week.

The hackers of the Lazarus Group were able to take advantage of a security flaw in SWIFT's network. Today on the show, we follow the twists and turns of an event that changed our global financial system forever.

Music: "Bank Job" "Nick It And Scarper" "Where's Lefty?" "High Class Heist" "Inside Job" "Mr. Pink" "Retro Heist" and "Heist Elite."

Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / TikTok

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify; and NPR One.

Want economics stories from the comfort of home? Subscribe to Planet Money's weekly newsletter.