Bank Islami Comes Under Biggest Cyber Attack of Pakistan’s History

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Bank Islami Pakistan has come under the biggest cyber attack in the history of Pakistan.

The incident came under the limelight when numerous customer of the bank complaint of an unusual activity that their payments cards are being used in the different international countries. It is alleged that a group of hackers breached the data centre of Islami bank and made the transaction by stealing customer’s details.

The unknown transaction that had been made by card scheme was worth Rs. 2.6 million.

The issued was reported on 27th October after several complaints made by the customers. However, the bank initially denied all the allegation of data theft.

BIPL, soon after the breach reported, took immediate precautionary actions and shut down its international payment scheme, said the Bank in an official announcement.

The notice informed that all the transactions that have been withdrawn from the accounts have been credited again in the accounts of the customers.

After the Bank shut down its international payment scheme – it informed that bank-issued cards were in use in some of the international ATMs, the transactions have been made in USA, Russia and some other countries. However, so far no confirmation has been shared by the Bank the processing of such abnormal transactions.

Here are some of the clauses from Bank Islami statement;

“On the morning of October 27, 2018, certain abnormal transactions were detected by BankIslami on our International Payment Scheme for Debit Cards.

BankIslami team immediately took precautionary steps which included shutting its International Payment Scheme. All funds withdrawn from the accounts (i.e. Rs. 2.6 Million) of our valued customers have been reversed.

These transactions, of approximately $6 million as claimed by international payment scheme, are not acknowledged by the Bank since the Bank was actually logged off from the international payment scheme at the time, revealed the notification.

As a precautionary measure, all transactions routing through an international payment scheme (Local and International POS, ATM and eCommerce) have been stopped.

However, we restored our Biometric ATM cash withdrawal service for our customers, the very same day.”

State Bank of Pakistan Response

Following the situation, the State Bank of Pakistan issues the precautionary instruction regarding the safety of bank cards after the cyber-attack.

All the banks are advised to immediately report the central bank in case of any unusual activity.

The SBP’s Statement

“As a result of the security breach of payment cards of one of the banks in Pakistan yesterday and their unauthorized use on different delivery channels i.e. at ATMs and POS in different countries, the bank has temporarily restricted usage of its cards for overseas transactions,”

“The State Bank has instructed the bank to take all necessary measures to trace the vulnerability and fix it immediately. The affected bank has also been instructed to issue advisory on precautionary measures to be taken by customers,” it added.


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