BB asks banks to beef up cyber security after India bank hack

Staff Correspondent | Published at 09:58pm on August 16, 2018

images

A file photo shows a man inserting a bank card into an ATM machine at a booth in Dhaka. Bangladesh Bank on Thursday cautioned the country’s scheduled banks agaisnt any vulnerabilities to cyber attack and asked the banks to boost cyber-security measures in the wake of the recent cyber attack on a bank in neighbouring India on August 11. — New Age photo

Bangladesh Bank on Thursday cautioned the country’s scheduled banks agaisnt any vulnerabilities to cyber attack and asked the banks to boost cyber-security measures in the wake of the recent cyber attack on a bank in neighbouring India on August 11.
The Bangladesh’s central bank also asked the banks to give the highest prority to the cyber security issues.
Cyber criminals hacked the systems of India’s Cosmos Bank and siphoned off nearly 944 million rupees ($13.5 million) through simultaneous withdrawals across 28 countries over the weekend.
The BB in its circular issued on Thursday stated that Bangladesh was also at risk of cyber attack or hacking as it was a rising economy.
In the circumstances, the central bank also asked the banks to comply with its banking regulations and policy department’s circular related to ICT security along with ensuring close monitoring and taking adequate measures in this connection.
According to media reports, Cosmos Bank said unidentified hackers stole customer information through a malware attack on its automated teller machine (ATM) server, withdrawing 805 million rupees in 14,849 transactions in just over two hours on August 11, mainly overseas.
Meanwhile, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation warned US lenders last week of a potential threat.
Apart from the ATM withdrawals, the hackers transferred 139 million rupees of Cosmos Bank to a Hong Kong-based company’s account by issuing three unauthorised transactions over the SWIFT global payments network.
Following the FBI warning, the US banks are on alert for new attacks targeting cash in ATMs, according to the media reports.
‘The FBI routinely advises private industry of various cyber-threat indicators observed during the course of our investigations,’ an FBI spokeswoman said.
‘This data is provided in order to help systems administrators guard against the actions of persistent cyber criminals,’ she said.
Earlier in 2016, unknown hackers stole more than $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Investigators have made little progress with the case.
Of the stolen money, about $15 million have so far been recovered from the Philippines.