Crooks steal money from Standard Chartered Accounts by hacking ATMs

Pierluigi Paganini February 14, 2015

A Group of hackers has stolen money from Standard Chartered Bank Accounts by hacking the ATMs of the organization in Pakistan.

Recently Pakistan customers of the Standard Chartered Bank have received transaction alerts via email and SMS that alerted them about alleged withdrawals of Rs.50, 000 ($500) cash from their bank accounts.

The problem is that hackers stole money from their banking account without any action on their part. Some of the customers didn’t even receive any notification, but discovered the theft only when they tried to get money from ATM of their banks and the machines refused to release the cash because the debit cards were blocked.

Despite there aren’t official data related to the number of victims, the number of affected customers could be high, the experts sustain that a huge amount of money was siphoned from Pakistan to England in a few seconds.

Standard Chartered bank

According to the initial investigation, the hackers targeted ATMs from England, the bank informed the customers that its online system was hacked, but assured affected customers that it will reimburse their stolen money.

“Early investigation reveals that SCB Pakistan ATMs were hacked from England” reported the Propakistani news website.

The real problem for customers is the note released by the bank that informed them that reimbursement of lost money activity will take some time.

In response to the cyber attack, the bank also blocked customers’ credit card, but the hackers transfer money from Pakistan to England by accessing to customers debit cards record data.

“A recent skimming attempt at SCB [Standard Chartered Bank] ATATM took place. The money in the customers’ bank accounts is insured and given to them in case of any such incident. The money of the customers is being reimbursed and majority of them received their cash in their accounts already,” reported Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan’s spokesperson, Farhan Ahmed.

The disconcerting news is that according to Farhan Ahmed, ATM skimming  occurs on a regular basis in Pakistan’s banking industry. Hackers use stolen card data to clone users’ cards.

The declaration raises a serious reflection on the level of security the financial institutions are able to offer to customers in Pakistan, and not only, as happened in this case.

The reputation of online banking services of the Standard Chartered Bank is seriously compromised, another aggravating is that despite the promise of quick action made by Standard Chartered Bank, there are many customers who have not been reimbursed their money yet.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –   Standard Chartered, banking)

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