Pakistani bank accounts hacked into by cyber criminals
08 November 2018
Data from almost all Pakistani banks has been hacked by criminals who have also broken into the security systems of many lenders, while thousands of consumers have lost millions of rupees.
The cybercrime unit of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said the attacks were launched on 27 and 28 October by hackers, who stole data relating to more than 8,000 customers of a dozen banks.
“According to a recent report we have received, data from almost all Pakistani banks has been reportedly hacked,” Mohammad Shoaib, the Cybercrimes Director of FIA told Geo News. According to him, hackers based outside Pakistan had breached the security systems and stolen large amounts of money from the accounts.
The agency has called a meeting of top bank officials and will be urging them to tighten their security. “Banks are the custodians of the money people have stored in them,” Shoaib was quoted in the local media. “They are also responsible if their security features are so weak that they result in pilferage.”
The FIA is probing more than a hundred cases relating to the fraud. It has also arrested a few people involved in the crime and claims to have recovered some money.
According to a report, members of one gang used to disguise themselves as army officials and con people into giving their banking details and withdrawing the funds.
As news of the fraud spread, many banks in Pakistan have blocked all international transactions on their cards. BankIslami, which has also stopped such transactions, was among the first to report that Rs2.6 million was stolen from one of its international cards.
A former scientist of the Khan Research Laboratories has also complained of Rs3 million being stolen from his account.
State Bank of Pakistan though claims that banks have not been hacked. “It has been noted with concern, news items reporting that the data of most banks has been hacked. SBP categorically rejects such reports,” it said in a statement.