Cyber attack costs BankIslami Rs2.6m


KARACHI: BankIslami came under cyber attack, costing Rs2.6 million from the international operations on Saturday but the bank said the amount was reverted back into the affected accounts.

“We were intimated through an advisory of international payment scheme and detected some abnormal activities on transactions through debit cards,” a top official of BankIslami, who didn’t want to be quoted, told Dawn.

Initially, reports in local media suggested that the bank had lost about $6m but officials said the amount stolen was in rupees.

“We have checked almost all transactions after shutdown of international payments and we are sure that Rs2.6m was the final figure that we lost,” said the official.

Since the link was disconnected between the international payment switch, the amount reported by International Payment Scheme via international transactions ($6.1m), was neither processed by bank’s system nor deducted from any customer account, said the bank.

It is believed that the International Payment Scheme has lost $6.1m globally.

“We are still not aware from which country or place the hackers launched the attack to steal the money,” said the official. Initially, it was reported in media that it was carried out from Brazil.

The banker said they are in consultations with the IT experts and are trying to identify weaknesses in the system.

Meanwhile, the State Bank directed banks to foster arrangements to ensure security of all payment cards across the country and monitor their activity – especially those involving overseas transactions.

“Immediately coordinate with all payment schemes, switch operators and media service providers the banks are integrated with to identify any malicious activity of suspicious transactions,” said the SBP.

BankIslami said that all domestic ATM cash withdrawal transactions using bank biometric services have been restored. “However, as a precautionary measure, all transactions routing through the international payment scheme have been stopped and will be restored once the bank is confident that all risks of unauthorised international transactions have been mitigated,” said a press release of Bank Islami issued on Monday.


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