November 6, 2018 (MLN): Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing has revealed that data from “almost all” Pakistani banks was stolen in a recent security breach.
According to FIA Cyber Crimes Director Capt Mohammad Shoaib, the banks have not shared the details with the authorities, however, the investigations conducted by the agency confirmed the incidents of data theft of almost all banks.
Over 100 cases have been registered and the investigations are underway, he added. The FIA has also convened a meeting of banks' chiefs in this regard, Captain Shoaib told Geo News.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been informed by several commercial banks that they have blocked international payments on debit and credit cards as a protective measure after cyber-attacks on their clients’ accounts. However, some banks were still allowing this facility upon orders of their customers.
FIA has notified this to all banks and a meeting of the banks' heads and security managements is being arranged.
A Moscow-based anti-fraud firm the Group IB said nine Pakistani banks witnessed abnormal transactions, including BankIslami, Habib Bank, JS Bank, Faysal Bank, Soneri Bank, Bank of Punjab, Bank Alfalah, Silkbank, and MCB Bank.
The first cyber-attack was reported by BankIslami on October 27. The bank said that Rs2.6 million was stolen from international payment cards after which it stopped such transactions and allowed biometrically verified payments only on ATM cards within Pakistan.
Following this, the SBP issued directives to all banks to ensure that security measures on all information technology systems including those related to card operations are continuously updated to meet future challenges.
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