‘Almost all’ Pakistani banks hacked in security breach, says FIA cybercrime head

By: Shakeel Qarar

In a shocking revelation, the head of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing has said data from “almost all” Pakistani banks was stolen in a recent security breach.

“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 Newson Tuesday.

When pressed to clarify, the official said data from “most of the banks” operating in the country had been compromised.

Speaking to DawnNewsTV, Shoaib said hackers based outside Pakistan had breached the security systems of several local 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,” he observed.

He said the FIA has written to all banks, and a meeting of the banks’ heads and security managements is being called. The meeting will look into ways the security infrastructure of banks can be bolstered.

“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.”

It wasn’t immediately clear when exactly the security breach took place.

According to Shoaib, more than 100 cases are being investigated by the agency in connection with the breach.

“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,” he added.

Shoaib said the agency has arrested many gangs involved in cybercrimes and recovered stolen money from them.

A gang was arrested last week whose members used to disguise themselves as army officials and withdraw money from banks after gathering people’s data, the official added.

More: https://www.dawn.com/news/amp/1443970