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Pre-Diwali panic grips Customers as 3 Million Debit Cards of various Banks are believed to be ‘Tainted’
Mumbai, October 20, 2016: In a pre-Diwali panic among customers, over three million debit cards of various banks are believed to be ‘tainted’ following a suspected security breach, and investigations have begun into the causes behind the security risks.
Several banks, including the State Bank Of India (SBI), have already started blocking their customers’ debit cards and re-issuing fresh ones to them free of cost.
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An estimated 30 lakh debit cards issued by various public or private banks are said to be affected by a potential risk of data breach.
Debit or credit cards are prone to security issues when unauthorised parties gain access to the confidential data embedded on them, even as they are being swiped in an automatic teller machine (ATM).
In the current scenario, the SBI alone has blocked more than 600,000 debit cards while assuring that the malware-related security breach was reportedly detected in the non-SBI ATM network.
The move has been undertaken to ensure that customers’ confidential personal data is not compromised while debit or credit cards are swiped for various transactions.
One of the card network companies, MasterCard said on Thursday that its “own systems have not been breached”.
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“We are working on the investigations with the regulators, issuers, acquirers, global and local law enforcement agencies and third party payment networks to assess the current situation,” a MasterCard spokesperson said.
It has advised the consumers to review their account statements and activity, and if any unusual or fraudulent transactions are suspected, they should contact the concerned bank for more assistance.
Anxious customers have started enquiring with their banks over the seriousness of the problem, whether their personal data has leaked out and if that could lead to financial implications, especially with Diwali round the corner.
On Wednesday evening, the SBI said it has blocked cards of certain customers identified by the networks as a precautionary measure, though it did not reveal the exact number of cardholders who would be hit.
The SBI emphasised that its own systems have absolutely not been compromised and existing cardholders are not at any risk and can continue to use their cards as usual.
According to banking circles, several other banks have also experienced similar problems as a few ATMs have been hit by a malware which has a high potential to compromise customers data.
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Official figures indicate that the SBI has over 20 crore active debit cards, besides 4.75 crore others of its associate banks.
In early September, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Mumbai, which controls all the retail payments systems in the country, had made it clear that there “is no compromise at NPCI and our systems are fully safe and secure.”
NPCI handles over 25 million transactions daily, including RuPay cards, of which more than 290 million are currently in circulation.(IANS)
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)