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Except for one, no evidence of banks data being hacked — SBP clarifies

KARACHI: Rejecting media reports that the data of most banks has been hacked, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday said that no evidence of banks data being hacked had been reported, except for one, ARY News reported.

“There is no evidence to this effect nor has this information been provided to the SBP by any bank or law enforcement agency,” it said in a statement.

“We would like to emphasize that except for the incident of October 27, 2018 in which reportedly the IT security of one bank was compromised, no breach has been reported,” the central bank added.

The state bank said it had already instructed all banks to take steps to identify and counter any cyber threat to their systems in coordination with international payment schemes. Representatives of payment schemes had also assured that all steps were being taken to help banks in identifying any cyber threat on card systems and had offered additional controls to them, it said.

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“In addition to the above, some banks are putting in place further precautionary measures while others are confident of the security of their systems and continue to make all card transactions fully available to their customers.

“The precautionary measures by some banks, include partial restrictions, such as requiring customers to seek prior approval for use in cross-border transactions, or in a few banks, a total restriction on cross border transactions,” it said.

However, the SBP said, it had been assured that all the temporary restrictions would be lifted once appropriate IT security measures were in place.

It is stressed, that all restrictions pertain only to cross-border transactions, and no bank has instituted any restriction on domestic transactions.

The central bank is engaged with the international payment schemes, payment operators and banks to monitor the current situation continuously to ensure security of the banking system.

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