DailyPost 749


Is it becoming more and more difficult to bank on the banks, in the digital world. With banking completely moving on to the e-mode, the technology adoption by bankers to ward off the bank hacking tsunami, does not seem to have happened. Technology is everybody’s domain, as is language & communication. Bankers banking on outsourced IT entities, hired low quality staff and standard international banking protocols might not serve the purpose. The bankers have to understand and guide and own the Cyber Security mechanism of their banks. Accounts / money transfers security is banking. Banking is the favorite hunting ground of the hackers. Thieves will be where the money is!

The big league banking hacks started with infamous Feb 2016 cyber heist of Bank of Bangladesh, of $81 million, the Central Bank of Bangladesh. The Brussels based SWIFT system urged banks to bolster their computer systems. Lazarus since then has been on the financial hacking spree. The Indian big ticket hacking was yet to start. In Feb 2018, the City Union Bank’s computer systems were hacked, transferring nearly $2 million through three unauthorized remittances. This was done using the SWIFT financial platform.

The international cyber criminals started putting India’s less known banks on the top of their hacking targets. Feasibility has alwys been their only criterion. Pune based Cosmos Bank, of the cooperative sector, was hacked between 11th & 13th Aug 2018, through a malware attack on it’s servers. More then 12,000 transactions, criminals is 28 countries involved, debit cards cloned, firewall compromised and proxy server created to manage the authentication. It had all what a high end physical & cyber crime can have.

All these still seems to be a reconnaissance operations. State Bank of Mauritius, located in Mumbai faced a hack on 2nd Oct, accessing it’s servers and transfer monies to multiple accounts outside the country. It claims to have recovered 90% of the Rs 190 Crores, does not dilute the gravity, intentions and technical capablities in hands of the hackers. The worst seems impending.


Sanjay Sahay

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