Indian banks replace millions of debit cards after possible breach

The measure follows reports of use of stolen card data mainly in the US and China

Indian banks have asked customers to change the PINs, and in some cases blocked access, to 3.2 million debit cards after concerns about a security breach.

The issue surfaced in September when some banks complained that their customers' cards were used fraudulently mainly in China and the U.S. while the account holders were in India, the National Payments Corporation of India said late Thursday.

India's top government-controlled bank, the State Bank of India, said earlier this week that after card network companies like Visa and MasterCard had informed various banks of a potential risk to some cards because of a data breach, it had taken the precautionary measure of blocking the cards identified by the networks.

The bank said it was in the process of issuing new cards and assured its customers that its own systems were not compromised.

A spokeswoman for India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, did not deny the issue but said the RBI has not yet decided to discuss it publicly.

Initial reports suggested that hackers had accessed the data through malware on automated teller machines. "Apprehending that this could be a case of card data compromise, all the ATMs / PoS terminals in India and three card networks – RuPay, Visa and MasterCard worked in a collaborative manner in the month of September 2016," NPCI said in a statement.

It was subsequently established that there was a possible compromise at one bank's payment switch that ran the back end of ATMs. The name of the bank or the payment switch provider have not been disclosed.

Some 640 customers of 19 banks were found to have been directly affected, and about 13 million rupees (US$194,800) were defrauded. Banks have advised their customers to change their debit card PIN.

In cases where customers could not be contacted, the cards have been blocked and fresh cards are being issued by member banks. NPCI said it would issue further recommendations to banks soon as investigations continue.

“Necessary corrective actions already have been taken and hence there is no reason for bank customers to panic," said A.P. Hota, CEO of NPCI. The advisory issued by NPCI to banks for "re-cardification is more as a preventive exercise,” he added.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?