India’s Cosmos Bank stars in $13.5m hacking drama
India-based Cosmos Co-operative Bank has been hit by cyberattacks with around INR 940 million ($13.5 million) taken in fraudulent withdrawals.
The incident included a malware attack on its debit card payment system and Swift’s network.
In a statement, the bank explains that INR 780 million ($11 million) was withdrawn through various ATMs across 28 countries. This includes 12,000 Visa card transactions.
Cosmos adds that around INR 25 million ($357,000) was withdrawn through 2,800 debit card transactions in India at various locations.
According to some news reports in the country, INR 139 million ($1.9 million) was also transferred through Swift’s network.
Cosmos Bank says: “As soon as the suspicious transactions were reported, the bank immediately shut down its Visa and RuPay debit card payment system.
“The core banking system (CBS) of the bank receives debit card payment requests via ‘switching system’. During the malware attack, a proxy switch was created and all the fraudulent payment approvals were passed by the proxy switching system.”
The bank states that no fraudulent transactions have been debited to any of the customers’ accounts and will not be debited in future.
Cosmos Bank adds: “As it is a malware attack on the switch which is operative for the payment gateway of Visa/RuPay debit cards and not on the CBS of the bank, the customers’ accounts and its balances are not at all affected.”
From Russia to Mexico
Banks in India are prone to hacking incidents, but the nation is certainly not alone.
PIR Bank in Russia lost nearly $1 million from a breach by the notorious hacker group, MoneyTaker.
Prior to that, Banco de Chile claimed that $10 million was stolen in its security breach.
While in May, at least five Mexican financial groups lost millions in funds due to “unauthorised transfers”, the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) revealed.