ISLAMABAD: A spokesperson of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Sunday, while speaking about the recent hacking attempts on banks said that focusing on IT security and monitoring systems would help control ‘international hackers’.
Talking to a private news channel, he suggested that there was a need to adopt a strict monitoring system in the banking sector so that hackers do not have access to any account.
He said if any bank account holder receives leaked information from a source other than the bank, then he/she should immediately seek help from the bank to block the card and account.
He added that if any account holder, after depositing the amount or withdrawing the amount from any branch does not receive the SMS message on his/her mobile phone, then he should seek help from the bank immediately.
Earlier, Profit reported a cyber attack on BankIslami. The bank “encountered a cyber-attack from unknown hackers on 27th October 2018” and immediately shut down all international transactions originating from International Payment Scheme and signing out from inter-operability switch, according to the bank’s official press release.
According to the statement, the transactions that took place as the result of the attack amounted to Rs 2.6 million and were also re-credited into the accounts from which they took place.
The actual amount of transactions, however, was estimated to be in billions of rupees.
The statement said, “since the connection was disconnected between the international payment switch, the amount reported by International Payment Scheme via international transactions (worth 6.1 million dollars), was not processed by Bank’s system.”
The State Bank of Pakistan then issued directives to all the banks to ensure the security of all payment cards in the country and monitor on real-time basis usage activity of their cards, especially overseas.
Following the attack, debit cardholders of various banks including BankIslami, Allied Bank Limited, JS Bank, Habib Bank Limited, Bank Alfalah, Standard Chartered, United Bank Limited, Faysal Bank, Silk Bank or Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) received a text message stating that international ATM transactions had been temporarily disabled.