Criminal hackers steal $13.5 million from India’s Cosmos Bank

Cyber criminals have hacked the systems of India’s Cosmos Bank and stolen nearly 944 million rupees (approximately US$13.5 million).

The criminal hackers reportedly planted malware on an ATM server to steal customer information.

The data was then used to clone thousands of Visa and RuPay debit cards, which were used in simultaneous withdrawals across 28 countries, including Canada, Hong Kong and India, on 11 August.

In total, 14,859 transactions were made at ATMs, which resulted in the theft of 805 million rupees.

The criminal hackers also transferred 139 million rupees to a bank account based in Hong Kong using the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) interbank communication network, a system normally used by banks to send money securely to each other around the world.

No customer accounts affected

In a press statement, Cosmos Bank said: “During the malware attack, a proxy switch was created and all the fraudulent payment approvals were passed by the proxy switching system.”

It emphasised that the core banking system had not been compromised and the malware was on the switch.

An official said, “None of the customers’ accounts were touched, and it is the bank that has incurred the loss of this money.”

In response to the attack, Cosmos Bank has shut down its servers and Internet banking facilities and is working with police investigators.

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