Almost all Pakistani banks were affected by a recent security breach, the shocking news was confirmed by the head of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing.
“According to a recent report we have received, data from almost all Pakistani banks has been reportedly hacked,” FIA Cybercrimes Director retired Capt Mohammad Shoaib told Geo News on Tuesday.
The comment released by the Capt Mohammad Shoaib follows the discovery made by cyber security firm Group-IB of a fresh dump of Pakistani credit and debit cards on dark web forums.
The agency is currently investigating more than 100 cases in connection with the security breach.
“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 Shoaib said.
The huge trove of data surfaced on the Dark Web includes 20,000 Pakistani debit card details surface on the dark web. Data belongs to customers of “most of the banks” operating in the country.
In an interview with DawnNewsTV, Shoaib explained that hackers based outside Pakistan have compromised the infrastructure of several Pakistani banks.
“The hackers have stolen large amounts of money from people’s accounts,” he added.
“The recent attack on banks has made it quite clear that there is a need for improvement in the security system of our banks,”
FIA notified his findings to all banks in the country called for a meeting with their representatives with the intent to respond to the incident, limit the damages and improve the overall security of Pakistani banks.
“Banks are the custodians of the money people have stored in them,” Shoaib said. “They are also responsible if their security features are so weak that they result in pilferage.”
At the time it is not clear when the security breach took place and how the attackers gained access to the systems at the Pakistani banks.
“An element of banking fraud which is a cause of concern is that banks hide the theft [that involves them]… and the clients report [the theft] to the banks and not to us, resulting in a loss of people’s money,” he told DawnNewsTV.
“We are trying to play a proactive role in preventing bank pilferage,”
The Pakistani banks are facing a severe emergency, last week a cyber attack on Bank Islami allowed attackers to stole at least Rs2.6 million from its accounts.
By the end of last week, some Pakistani banks had suspended usage of their debit cards outside the country and blocked all international transactions on their cards.
A large Pakistani bank informed its clients that online mobile banking services would be temporarily suspended starting from November 3.
Pakistan Computer Emergency Response Team (PakCERT) released a report that details the timeline and scale of data leaks. Experts at PakCERT believe that the data was obtained through card skimming.
According to the report, the first dump was offered for sale on the site JokerStash, experts found the “PAKISTANWORLD-EU-MIX-01,” containing over 11,000 records, more than 8,000 records were related to at least nine Pakistani banks.
These cards were offered for sale in the cybercrime underground for $100 up to $160.
(Security Affairs – Pakistani banks, cybercrime)