BBC World Service launches new true crime podcast ‘The Lazarus Heist’


The BBC World Service is excited to announce its major new original podcast, The Lazarus Heist. It tells the true story of an attempted $1 billion hack, which investigators say was carried out by a secretive ring of elite North Korean hackers. While it could be the plot of a Hollywood movie, this dangerous group of hackers caused worldwide panic that was only too real.

Nicknamed the Lazarus Group, they broke into the digital vaults of Bangladesh Bank (the country’s central bank), waiting a year before they carried out their attack. They laundered money around the world – including through casinos in the Philippines. It’s claimed they were trying to bring huge amounts of money back to Kim Jong-un’s secretive state.

Before then, they are accused of being behind the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment – exposing emails between employees, salary details and plans for new movies. It cost Sony $15m and its co-chairperson her job. This is a story of alleged state-sponsored hacking and theft on a truly global scale. North Korea says it “has nothing to do at all” with cyber threats or money laundering and says the accusations are American attempts to tarnish its image.

The Lazarus Heist is presented by cybercrime investigative journalist Geoff White and Pulitzer-nominated veteran foreign correspondent and world renowned North Korea expert, Jean Lee. Geoff has been investigating the underworld of digital crime for years, while Jean has extensive experience of reporting from inside North Korea.

This major new release will initially run for 10 episodes, released weekly. The Lazarus Heist is available on BBC Sounds and on most other podcast apps around the world. Episode one is released on 19 April 2021. Visualised episodes will be available on the BBC World Service YouTube channel.

The BBC produces some of the world’s most popular and acclaimed podcasts, including three of the top ten most-listened-to shows around the globe.