Cosmos Bank: Kale asks members to have trust

As the banking industry in the country is trying to come to terms with the news of Cosmos Bank falling a prey to hackers’ nefarious designs resulting into Rs 94 crore loot, officers of National Payments Council of India (NPCI) spent close to six hours on Wednesday at the Cosmos headquarters trying to unravel the fraud.

Meanwhile, refuting reports in a section of media that the National Payments Council of India (NPCI) has blamed the bank’s “own IT environment” for the unprecedented cyber loot, Cosmos Bank Chairman Milind Kale said that in this moment of crisis we expect the media to interpret a statement correctly.

“It is true that a proxy server was created of a server located at our premises; it was a malware attack on the bank’s IT system which even NPCI itself is trying to figure out and to say that NPCI has blamed our system for the fraud is a distortion of facts’, Kale said to Indian Cooperative on the phone from Pune.

“In fact what they meant was that the malware attack took place on a server located in our premises which is true. NPCI does not blame us and we do not blame NPCI. Each of us are trying to figure out the fraud”, he underlined.

Yesterday NPCI officials spent 6 hours with us and even today in the evening they are coming to our premises, said Kale. It bears recall that NCPI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.

UCB cooperators, coming in the defense of Cosmos Bank said what the outsiders fail to understand is that it is a serious cyberattack and a wakeup call for the entire banking industry which perhaps had its roots on foreign soil. It has global ramifications, they underline.

The matter is being investigated by the Maharashtra Cyber crime cell. “Frankly, I do not know the progress of investigation but even if I had known, the cyber crime investigation is opposed to the idea of divulging it prematurily, Kale stated.

It bears recall that the cooperative bank lodged an FIR saying Rs 80.5 crore were initially transferred to a foreign bank in 14,849 transactions of the debit card, and another Rs 13.9 crore transferred in a SWIFT transaction.

The only consolation was it was a malware attack on the payment gateway of VISA/Rupay Debit Card, and not on the CBS of the bank, the customers’ account and its balances are not at all affected, Cosmos Bank clarified.

None of the fraudulent transactions are debited to any of the customers’ accounts and will not be debited in future too, said chairman Kale while appealing to UCB’s members to remain calm and not to panic and continue to have the faith and trust on the 112 years old bank.