In a shocking disclosure, Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) revealed on Tuesday that customers’ data from almost all major Pakistani banks was stolen in a recent security breach
“Data of almost all Pakistani banks has been hacked.
According to the reports gathered by FIA, most of the banks have been affected,” Captain (retired) Mohammad Shoaib, chief of FIA’s cyber-crime wing told media.
The cyber-crime chief did not disclose when the security breach had exactly occurred but confirmed that hundreds of cases of cyber-attack have been registered with the FIA and are under investigation.
The banks have not shared the details with the FIA authorities but the investigations carried out by the FIA confirmed the incidents of data hacking of almost all banks.
At least six Pakistani banks have suspended usage of their debit cards outside the country and blocked all international transactions on their cards.
A Moscow-based global cyber security firm, Group IB, recently reported that hackers had released a new dump of Pakistani credit and debit cards on dark web forums and claimed that nine Pakistani banks witnessed abnormal transaction.
It is very rare that Pakistani cards are on sale at online underground markets, the group IB said.
Citing the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), it said compromised cards of Bank Islami, were cashed out via automated-teller machine (ATM) and point-of-sale in different countries, including USA and Russia.
“We have made several arrests in the case, including that of an international gang last month,” FIA cyber-crime chief said adding that the FIA has summoned representatives of the banks.
“If a bank’s security infrastructure is weak then the bank is to be held responsible for any breach,” he said.
A report in Daily Jang, a leading Pakistani Urdu newspaper, revealed on Tuesday that the ATM fraud has targeted hundreds and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone, more than 200 people lost millions of rupees from their bank accounts.
The victims include Dr Yousuf Khilji, a former chief scientist of Khan Research Laboratories, a government-run national research institute, operated under the scrutiny of the country’s armed forces.
On Monday, Khilji wrote an application to the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, claiming that someone had fraudulently withdrawn Rs.3 million from his account within 17 hours in October’s last week.
He complained to the chief justice that his bank and FIA had failed to address his problem.
According to banking officials, cyber security system is very weak in Pakistan because banks are reluctant to invest in safety measures