When a group of hackers revealed themselves to be the ones that hacked Rahul Gandhi’s and some other personality’s twitter account, there was much laughing and admiration. But soon after that they revealed that they might also be in possession of information far more dangerous. It was revealed that they had hacked several banks in India and when banks went to investigate the claims, they found that their SWIFT codes had indeed been compromised.
As far as the damage done by the hacks is concerned, the banks are reporting that no financial losses have been observed as a result of the hacks. However, that is not the only way these hackers have troubled the banks. There have been instances reported where things like letters of credit were duplicated. The fear is that since the hackers have compromised the SWIFT codes, they could generate false letters of credit and use them to illegally accumulate funds in foreign banks. In a similar attack last year, a bank in Mumbai was warned by an American bank that a transaction of $150 million had been requested. Upon investigating the report it was found that the transaction was fraudulent and the bank had a narrow escape.
In an effort to stem the flow of such attacks banks are not beginning to hire cyber security companies to help identify infected systems and recover control over them. Even the RBI has instructed affected banks to recheck all transactions made in the past 1 year. The big question though is that with India being coaxed towards a cashless economy, how safe are the banks systems?