Monday, February 18, 2019 | ePaper

BB alerts all banks : Major cyber attack feared

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The central bank on Thursday issued alert of a major cyber attack on the local banks in which international hackers may break their vault and move out money within or outside the country through use of fraudulent wire transfer.
The alert was initially issued following a letter sent and signed on August 9 by Mustafa Jabbar, the Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology to Secretary of the bank and financial institutions division of the Finance Ministry.
In the letter he said information picked up from the cyber security and sensor system that has been set up at Bangladesh Bank shows hackers have installed malware at important computers of the central bank and regularly passing information of cyber security around the vault to hackers stationed in Romania, Japan and China. It said since the central bank is yet to set up a cyber security team, necessary preventive measures being delayed making the system vulnerable to hackers.   
It risks a major cyber attack after a similar attack on Bangladesh Bank reserves two years back. The letter sought to alert Bangladesh Bank in this respect.     
The central bank's Payment System Department issued the alerts in a letter to the Chief Executive Officers and Managing Directors of the country's all scheduled commercial bank asking them to strengthen their cyber security paying heed to the alert and take necessary precautionary measures in this regard.
"The central bank has received unspecified reports indicating that cyber criminals are planning for a major attack over online payment system to steal money from banks and transfer those to fraudulent accounts at home and abroad," Bangladesh Bank (BB) Deputy Governor SM Moniruzzman told The New Nation yesterday.
He said the alert is aimed at heading off a major financial calamity. By telling the banks about the looming attack, financial institutions can be better prepared to monitor their networks for abnormal activity and staff their security teams accordingly.
 On reference to Bangladesh Bank vulnerability to cyber attack, he said, "We are aware of the situation and monitoring closely with the concerned agencies to prevent the central bank's system from the cyber attack.
It appears the Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry alerted the finance ministry; which in turn alerted Bangladesh Bank. It then alerted the commercial banks yesterday.
The Deputy Governor claimed that the central bank is out of risk as they have installed all preventive measures to prevent any surprise. 

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