Taliparamba: The Urban Cooperative Bank here lost Rs 64,41,781 from its current account at ICICI bank through cyber fraud. Police are of the primary assumption that the bank's username and password were hacked to swindle the cash.
The bank officials said they successfully blocked the illegal withdrawal of Rs 50 lakh. However, the officials are still trying to find out how the hackers accessed the bank's username and password.
The Taliparamba Urban Cooperative Bank started an account in the ICICI bank to transfer cash through RTGS and NEFT. The hackers transferred cash from the Taliparamba bank’s account to 16 other accounts.
The cash was withdrawn to the 16 accounts through fake requests by hackers in the pretext of requests by Taliparamba bank.
The ICICI bank officials noticed the repeated transfer of large amounts to different accounts and alerted the Taliparamba bank officials. As the cooperative bank officials said they had not approved any such transaction, the ICICI officials blocked the transaction. The officials then contacted other banks and stopped the withdrawal of cash to their accounts from the Taliparamba bank’s account.
The ICICI bank officials called the Taliparamba bank around 10.30 am on September 9 after Rs 79 lakh was transferred to 16 different accounts. The transfers were initiated from September 7. The cash was transferred to SBI, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda, Kotak Bank, HDFC bank, Bank of India and Indusind bank accounts in Rajasthan, New Delhi, Punjab, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
Less than Rs 4 lakh was transferred to each account. Some of the cash was further transferred to other accounts.
As soon as the Taliparamba bank officials clarified that such transfer requests were not given, the employees rushed to the other banks. The cash was being transferred even when the bank officials were checking the transactions. Several transactions were done through ATMs.
Though the hackers withdrew Rs 79 lakhs, around Rs 15 lakhs were debited back into the accounts as the hackers provided the wrong IFS codes. This reduced the swindled amount to Rs 64.41 lakh. The bank officials blocked the ATM withdrawal of Rs 5 lakh from one of the accounts to which cash from Taliparamba bank was transferred to. The hackers could only withdraw Rs 90,000.
It is not clear of one person hacked the accounts or several persons were involved. Based on a complaint from the urban cooperative bank officials, the Taliparamba police registered a case and started investigations. Taliparamba SI Satyanath is investigating the case. The police have sought the help of cyber cell. They recorded the statements of bank officials on Tuesday.
“The incident will not affect transactions at the Taliparamba Urban Cooperative Bank as the cash was withdrawn from ICICI bank. We were able to prevent the withdrawal of most of the swindled amount. We will seek a detailed investigation into the matter,” said C. Shivashankaran, Chairman, Taliparamba Urban Cooperative Bank.