October 29, 2018 (MLN): Bank Islami Pakistan (BIPL) witnessed an unusual activity on one of its international payment card scheme, on October 27, 2018. An abnormal transaction worth Rs.2.6 million was detected by the bank on the said card scheme.
According to an official announcement made by the Bank to Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), BIPL took immediate precautionary steps following the event, including shutting its international payment scheme.
The notice informed that all the monies withdrawn from the accounts have been credited in the respective accounts of the customers.
Subsequently, after the Bank was cut off from the international payment scheme, it was informed by international payment scheme that some transactions were made on international ATM’s allegedly using Bank’s issued cards.
However, no details have so far been shared with the Bank as to how such transactions were processed and validated when they never landed on their system.
These transactions, of approximately $6 million as claimed by international payment scheme, are not acknowledged by the Bank since the Bank was actually logged off from the international payment scheme at the time, revealed the notification.
BIPL is of view that it was a coordinated cyber-attack in which the payment network of the international payment scheme as well as that of the acquiring banks were possibly compromised.
The announcement further apprised that they have initiated consultations with information security experts and the State Bank of Pakistan has been advised accordingly as well.
The bank has stated that all domestic ATM cash withdrawal transactions using the Bank’s Biometric service were restored on the same day.
“However, as a precautionary measure, all transactions routing through international payment scheme will be shortly restored once the Bank is confident that all risks of unauthorized transactions have been mitigated.
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