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Pre-Diwali panic grips Customers as 3 Million Debit Cards of various Banks are believed to be ‘Tainted’

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

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Representational image. Pixabay

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)

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Beware! Hackers Are Watching Your Every Move As You Shop Online

Be wary of clicking on emails from unknown sources or deals that look too good to be true.

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Cyber criminals use look-alike spam to lure in victims with links to bogus websites. Businesses should train employees on how to "spot a phish". VOA

With more and more Indians going online and generating never-heard-before kind of data, hackers have turned their focus on a country with over 450 million smartphone users and more than 550 million Internet users.

The country has 366 million Internet subscribers in urban locations and 194 million in rural areas, says the latest report by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

According to Sophos Senior Security Advisor John Shier, organisations are struggling with phishing and other user-focused attacks in India.

hackers
Cyber criminals use look-alike spam to lure in victims with links to bogus websites. Businesses should train employees on how to “spot a phish”.
Pixabay

“Most people don’t believe that computer-based training (CBT) is effective and are looking for ways to improve their defenses against users being tricked into inviting malicious attackers into their network,” Shier said in a statement.

A KPMG report in April revealed that nearly 86 per cent of the consumers in India are concerned about eavesdropping of their conversations or theft or misuse of their messages through their devices.

“The proliferation of connected and IoT devices will have a cross-sector impact on areas around data security and privacy. In response to this, regulators will need to establish mandatory data security requirements,” said Atul Gupta, Leader-IT Advisory and Cyber Security Leader, KPMG in India.

Around 87 per cent of the consumers are concerned that retailers will misuse or improperly distribute their information.

According to Gauri Bajaj, Director, Cybersecurity (APAC), Tata Communications, the adoption of cyber security remains a key challenge.

“The recent spate of cyber attacks only highlight the security risk that takes place both within and without the organisation. It is imperative that employees are sensitised to the risk of security breaches and trained to respond in such a scenario,” Bajaj said.

Not just phones, wearable devices like smartwatches are the next frontier for cyber security.

“The future of wearable tech in the world of AI and predictive technology will be highly individualized, data driven and analytics intensive. One of the bigger applications of this will continue to be in the healthcare and fitness sector.

“However, what is key to make this happen is also building a holistic ecosystem that tracks, guides and designs individualized plans for each individual, at a low cost,” said Vishal Gondal, CEO and founder GOQii.

It isn’t enough to have an IT security team and having a strong culture around security is the next step in maturity for security awareness programmes, say experts.

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According to Sophos Senior Security Advisor John Shier, organisations are struggling with phishing and other user-focused attacks in India. Pixabay

“Use a unique, complex password for banking and other financial online accounts. For others, use a password manager to keep them organised and readily available. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) when available to provide an extra layer of security on accounts,” Shier said.

Be wary of clicking on emails from unknown sources or deals that look too good to be true.

Also Read: Social Media Giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg Rejects The Claim ‘Time To Break Up Facebook’

Cyber criminals use look-alike spam to lure in victims with links to bogus websites. Businesses should train employees on how to “spot a phish”.

“Use a layered business security strategy to provide protection at multiple levels to avoid attacks from different angles. Be wary of IoT devices on any network. Change factory default passwords immediately out of the box,” the Sophos executive added. (IANS)