Axis Bank recently informed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that it had experienced a cyber attack, while the State Bank of India said it was re-issuing over 600,000 debit cards because of a potential security breach.
In some of these, a virus or malware blocks the system, which can be accessed only after a ransom is paid.
“Software viruses were found in three personal computers at the BSE in August, which were identified, separated and quarantined immediately,” said the exchange.
“The viruses did not have any impact on the working of the BSE or any of its departments. The viruses have also not been found to have affected other PCs. The incident was reported to regulatory agencies as part of routine compliance reporting,” the exchange added.
Sources said similar attacks had occurred at the National Payments Corporation and HDFC Bank. However, HDFC Bank and NPCI said that they had not experienced any specific ransom malware threat.
Axis Bank has hired EY to investigate the cyber attack that it had experienced.
There have also been reports that ATM card details of several account holders may have been compromised. Several banks have asked their customers to change their card security details and to stick to their own ATM networks.
A survey on fraud in the financial sector by Assocham and PwC found these caused $20 billion (Rs 1.26 lakh crore) in direct losses annually. The RBI has said the number, frequency and impact of cyber attacks have increased manifold in the past few months. However, experts said in none of these cases has any financial loss been reported.
“The level of preparedness for cyber crime in India is very basic. Companies need to improve their response and detection capabilities,” said a cyber security consultant. The RBI has asked banks to increase focus on cyber security and is checking their preparedness to handle cyber fraud.