The Bangladesh Bank yesterday warned banks to heighten measures to repel cyber attacks after a multinational hacking ring made off with Rs 94.4 crore from India's Cosmos Bank last week.
The co-operative bank said unidentified hackers stole customer information through a malware attack on its automated teller machine server, withdrawing Rs 80.5 crore in 14,849 transactions in just over two hours on August 11, mainly overseas.
Then on August 13, the hackers transferred Rs 13.9 crore to a Hong Kong-based company's account by issuing three unauthorised transactions over the SWIFT global payments network, the bank said in a police complaint.
Earlier on August 10, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had alerted American lenders of a coordinated fraud scheme known as an “ATM cash-out” that was in the works.
“Bangladesh is also facing cyber threat as an emerging country,” said the BB in its notice to banks yesterday.
The local banks have already taken different initiatives to tackle cyber attacks on their digital payment systems, said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, a platform of banks' chief executives and managing directors. The local banks have set a limited ceiling for clients' cash-withdraw from ATMs. The same ceiling has also been imposed on e-commerce transactions.
“So, I hope that there is no scope of large-scale ATM fraud,” said Rahman, also the managing director of Dhaka Bank.
Earlier on February 2016, customers of three local banks -- Eastern, City and United Commercial -- became victims of an ATM scam. Skimmers withdrew money by forging credit and debit card data.
In the same year, cyber criminals stole $101 million from the central bank's accounts with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
After the ATM scam, most of the local banks have installed anti-skimming devices at their cash machines.