State Bank of Pakistan has rejected the statements of FIA officials, regarding cyber-attacks and data theft from almost all Pakistani banks.
A day earlier, Director of FIA Cyber-Crimes wing Captain (retd) Mohammad Shoaib told local media that that customers’ data from several major Pakistani banks was stolen in a recent security breach. “More or less, data from several banks was stolen” in last week’s cyber-attack on the Pakistani banking system”.
“More than 100 cases [of cyber-attack] have been registered with the FIA and are under investigation. We have made several arrests in the case, including that of an international gang [last month],” Capt (retd) Shoaib said.
The State Bank, however, rejected the claims and said, there was “no evidence that banks’ data had been breached, except for one” bank – that being Bank Islami.
“It has been noted with concern news items reporting that the data of most banks has been hacked. SBP categorically rejects such reports. There is no evidence to this effect nor has this information been provided to SBP by any bank or law enforcement agency,” the central bank said in a press release.
“We would like to emphasize that except for the incident of October 27th, 2018 in which reportedly the IT security of one bank was compromised, no breach has been reported”. “Nevertheless, SBP has already instructed all banks to take steps to identify and counter any cyber threat to their systems in coordination with international payment schemes”.
“Representatives of payment schemes have also assured that all steps are being taken to help banks in identifying any cyber threat on card systems and have offered additional controls to them,” the statement read. “The precautionary measures by some banks, include partial restrictions, such as requiring customers to seek prior approval for use in cross-border transactions, or in a few banks, a total restriction on cross border transactions”.
“However, SBP has been assured that all these temporary; restrictions would be lifted once appropriate IT security measures are in place. It is stressed, that all restrictions pertain only to cross-border transactions, and no bank has instituted any restriction on domestic transactions.” “SBP is engaged with the international payment schemes, payment operators and banks to monitor the current situation continuously to ensure security of the banking system,” the central bank added.
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17 November, 2019