Govt alerts banks about cyberattack

The government has alerted the banks about the threat of a cyberattack, instructing them to put in place precautionary measures to prevent hackers from stealing money.

The financial institutions division of the finance ministry sent a letter to the banks on Thursday, asking them to take necessary measures to ward off any cyberattack, said an bank official, preferring anonymity.

A North Korean hacker group named “Beagle Boys”, which had been involved in stealing money from the central bank’s foreign exchange reserve in 2016, may try to hack into ATM booths of banks and the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) network to steal money.

Some banks have taken precautionary measures to prevent the hacking as per the instruction of the ministry.

State-owned Rupali Bank has suspended the operation of ATM booths from 11:00pm to 7:00am.

In August, the Bangladesh Bank alerted banks about a possible threat of hacking in the banking transactions through ATM booths, credit cards and other modes of online banking.

Almost all banks kept the ATM services and point of sales (POS) suspended from 12:00am to 7:00am.

Hackers stole $101 million from the Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February 2016. Of the sum, $81 million ended up in the Philippines and $20 million in Sri Lanka.


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