ISLAMABAD: A new report by a Pakistan based Cyber Security firm claims that 19864 debit card details belonging to 22 Pakistani banks are being sold on the Dark web.
According to the Threat Intelligence Report by the Karachi based cyber security firm PakCert, the first batch of 8864 cards belonging to nine different banks was put on sale on October 26. Later, 11000 debit cards belonging to 21 Pakistani banks were put on sale by hackers over Dark net on October 31, 2018.
According to the report, the card details are being sold for prices ranging between US$ 100-160.
The 22 banks affected by it include: Al Baraka Bank, Allied Bank, Askari Bank, Bank Alfalah, Bank Al Habib, Bank Islami, Dubai Islamic Bank, Faysal Bank, Habib Bank, Habib Metropolitan Bank, JS Bank, KASB bank, MCB, Meezan Bank, NIB Bank, Samba Bank, Silkbank, Standard Chartered Bank, Soneri Bank, Summit Bank, The Bank of Punjab and the United Bank Limited.
|Banks||No. of Cards|
|1||Al Baraka Bank||25|
|5||Bank Al Habib||489|
|6||Dubai Islamic Bank||199|
|9||Habib Metropolitan Bank||344|
|17||Standard Chartered Bank||1319|
|20||The Bank of Punjab||868|
|21||the United Bank Limited||1381|
|22||Bank Islami Pakistan||508|
The latest revelations come in the aftermath of reports according to which Bank Islami reportedly lost Rs. 2.6 million and subsequently suspended its international payment scheme. Other banks also suspended their international transactions as reported by DRM.
The report also touches upon the format in which data is available in the second dump. According to it, the details of credit cards are available in two formats. The first is the text format that includes Full Name, address, phone number, card number, expiry and CVV2. This information can be used for “illegal online purchases” according to the report.
The second format is “skimmed dumps which means the hacker was physically able to scan the card details possibly at a compromised ATM or merchant machine,” according to the report. It further adds that these skimmed card details are used to create a duplicate card and can be used at an ATM for illegal transactions.
Talking to Digital Rights Monitor, the PakCert CEO Mr. Qazi Muhammad Misbahuddin shared that the details of the cards were not easily available for everyone. “Dark web is not accessible for public. You need different tools and membership to access this information,” he said adding that this information could still be used by criminals.
Mr. Ahmed dispelled the notion that this data was accessed by hackers by breaching the systems of the banks. Rather, he noted that the data was exposed possibly either at the compromised ATMs or other places where the hackers had installed skimming devices.
Mr. Qazi said that his organization was able to get this information as they monitored dark web as part of their work. However, Mr. Qazi noted that this information could land in the wrong hands and could be used by the criminals.
Mr. Qazi emphasized that unlike the media reports that suggested that only the bank card details of Bank Islami were exposed, they found out that cards of other banks and in huge numbers were exposed.
In response to a question, he also stated that he had shared the findings of this report with the relevant banks and State Bank of Pakistan before the public release on November 05. He said that he decided to make public the findings of this report so that people could understand the scope of this problem.
The full report can be read here.
Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.