Massive ATM hack hits over 3.2 million debit cards in India

massive ATM hack

India is facing the biggest data breaches to the date with over 3.2 Million debit card details stolen from multiple banks and financial platforms.

Hackers used a malware to compromise the Hitachi Payment Services platform  which is used to power country’s ATM, point-of-sale (PoS) machines and other financial transactions — and stole details of 3.2 Million debit cards, reports The Economic Times.

Debit card of banks such as State Bank of India(SBI), HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank has been affected by this. Customers are advised to change their ATM pin immediately.

Of 3.2 Million debit cards, 2.6 Million are powered by Visa or Mastercard and rest 600,000 work on top of India’s own RuPay platform.

Hacked Cards reportedly used in China

It is not yet clear that is who is behind the attack, but report says that certain customers complained about unauthorized transactions made by their cards in various locations in China.

Reports say that one of the biggest banks like SBI has been affected most, and the bank has announced that they will replace the affected debit cards while the other banks has advised their customers to change their ATM PINs immediately.

The extent of damage due to breach also depends on the type of cards customers are using.

Cards which use Magnetic Stripe transmit your account number and secret PIN to merchants in a way that it could make easy for fraudsters to hack them, making these cards easier to clone.

Whereas, banks who are using EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip-equipped cards (better known as Chip-and-Pin cards) store your data in encrypted form and only transmit a unique code (one-time-use Token) for every transaction, making these cards more secure and lot harder to clone.

SBI has blocked affected debit cards and will re-issue 600,000 debit cards

SBI has blocked affected debit cards and will re-issue over 600,000 cards. Here’s what SBI CTO Shiv Kumar Bhasin told the publication:

“It’s a security breach, but not in our bank’s systems. Many other banks also have this breach—right now and since a long time. A few ATMs have been affected by malware. When people use their card on infected switches or ATMs, there is a high probability that their data will be compromised.”

Mastercard also denied that its systems were breached, issuing the following statement:

“We’re aware of the data compromise event. To be clear, Mastercard’s own systems have not been breached. At Mastercard, safety and security of payments are a top priority for us and we’re working on the investigations with the regulators, issuers, acquirers, global and local law enforcement agencies and third party payment networks to assess the current situation.”

The Payments Council of India has ordered a forensic audit on the Indian bank servers measure the damage and check the origin of the cyber attack.