Most banks unequipped to deal with cyberhacking: expert

Staff Correspondent | Published: 21:48, Sep 27,2020


Most banks operating in the country do not have updated strategies to tackle cyberhacking and lack the skilled manpower and monitoring system needed to prevent such attacks.

Cyber security firm Backdoor Private Limited cyber security researcher and managing director Tanvir Hassan Zoha pointed out the issues in a discussion on ‘Behind ATM Hacking’ held at the Economic Reporters Forum on Sunday.

He said that a huge number of polluted malware had illegally entered the network system of various institutions, including the banks in our country.

If we cannot identify these malwares on time, a terrible digital disaster is waiting to happen in future, he warned.

Recently, most banks have restricted their ATM, cards and online transactions and strengthened their security measures after the Bangladesh Bank alerted them about a potential cyber hacking threat, said Tanvir.

However, most of these banks do not have any idea about the actual risk and have simply restricted their ATM and online services as per the instructions of the Bangladesh Bank, he added.

Tanvir said that the government’s Computer Incident Response Team had alerted that North Korean Hacker group Beagle Boys was targeting Bangladesh’s banking industry but there was no existence of the so-called ‘Beagle Boys’ in the country.

H said that we should be aware of local hackers who were behind most of the hackings.

‘If we want to prevent the entrance of malware, stopping of ATM services is not a wise decision but we should rather enhance monitoring in the network systems of the banks,’ Zoha said in response to a question.

He recommended that the banks should firstly find out the weaknesses in their network systems and enhance monitoring within the systems.

They should also create awareness, arrange practical trainings about cyber security and file cases against the cyber hackers, he said.

Backdoor Private chief executive officer Abdul Kalam Azad and other officials of the organisation were present in the event.

The BB had on August 27 alerted the banks of a possible cyber attack following which most banks limited their ATM, cards and online transactions.

Some banks have suspended their automated teller machine booth transactions from 12:00am to 6:00am, EMV transactions from ATMs, BEFTN transactions and SWIFT transactions.

A number of over-cautious banks are yet to fully reinstate their ATM, credit card and online transaction services even after the Bangladesh Bank withdrew the alert.

The alert was withdrawn on September 13 after consultations with the government’s Computer Incident Response Team.

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