Hackers of bank accounts data can be traced: IT experts | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Hackers of bank accounts data can be traced: IT experts

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE – Information Technology experts have said that hackers of various bank accounts can be traced following close coordination among the relevant agencies to save the people from this online fraud.

Tech experts stressed the need to build a comprehensive cyber security policy to counter prevailing hacking attempts that have been depriving citizens of their life savings, while urging banks to take concrete security measures to save more accounts from being hacked.

The issue surfaced when FIA revealed that large amount of data from almost all Pakistani banks has been reportedly hacked and hackers had stolen large amount of money from people’s bank accounts . FIA has already shared details with State Bank and 1,576 complaints about banking fraud lodged this year.

It is pertinent to mention that first cyber attack in 2018 was reported in Pakistan by Bank Islami on October 27 in which Rs2.6 million were stolen from international payment cards. In the wake of that cyber attack, the bank even stopped transactions and temporarily allowed biometrically verified payments only on ATM cards within Pakistan. In this regard, State Bank has already issued directives to all banks to make sure security measures.

Additional Director General IT Infrastructure at Punjab Information Technology Board Sajjad Ghani told The Nation that banks were the custodians of people’s money and it was time to implement the banks protocols to ensure the safety of the data and the money of the consumers.

“Without user awareness campaign it is not possible to counter the continuous online hacking of bank accounts . I believe the ratio is very small in which people actually are becoming victims of online fraud by their own faults. People actually trust banks and the problem lies at the bank cyber security side and it needs improvement,” Sajjad said.

He said that there may be a centralised department to monitor and counter online theft and to implement coherent cyber security policy.

“To secure the users there should be a strong bank checks and massive awareness campaigns through which people come to know that they should not fall into the tricks of hackers including giving their details of NIC and bank account details,” he added.

Sajjad explained social engineering is a phenomenon in which hackers come up with unique and innovative ideas to loot people including sending messages containing hacking attachments, phone hacking with scam calls of price or lottery win and ask for their credit card number.

Cyber crime is a vast term includes online hacking, Identity theft, cyber bullying, cyber stalking, financial fraud and breach of digital piracy.

Some experts were of the view that hackers have been doing continuous efforts through computer viruses and worms and malicious software to disrupt banking systems and deprive people from their money.

Cyber crime also includes intellectual property rights, money laundering, denial of service attack, electronic terrorism, vandalism and extortion.

An ethical hacker working with a government department said that cyber policies and frameworks were already in place and all we need is to implement those policies strictly and regulate the frameworks. “Bank standards must be implemented in which credit cards cyber security policy must be implemented in accordance with SBP”, he said, adding, that a lot of social engineering has been going on and government should intervene to aware the users to give awareness on these gimmicks. “Hackers can be traced by following the link of IP addresses through which the fraud activity and transactions have been taken place,” he informed.

“Not even single moment hackers go for rest and round the clock they are looking for only one loophole to breach cyber security and that’s where all relevant agencies and departments have to do their work to safe citizens from data breach and online fraud,” another expert working in a private company said.

He advised people not to give anyone their bank accounts one-time-passwords and does not pay attention to pseudo calls pretending to as banks representatives.

Also, a famous bank in Pakistan is being repeatedly sending messages to aware its consumers that the bank will not call to ask for their passwords through bank representatives and consumers should avoid these calls.