Cosmos: Marathe calls it an attack on Payment System, seeks NIA probe

Raising the stakes on the issue of cybercrime against the second leading urban cooperative bank in the county- Cosmos Bank, Sahakar Bharati Patron and the newly appointed RBI Director Satish Marathe has demanded an NIA probe in the matter.

Marathe says “Attack on Cosmos Bank is not an attack on a Co-op Bank but an attack on our Payment System! NIA not Pune SIT should conduct Probe!” he writes on social media.

Indian Cooperative has learnt that a lot many cooperators harbor a grievance against the regulators for treating cooperative banks unfairly in the matter of security. “Experts are of the view that smaller banks are more likely to fall prey to hackers than bigger banks as the latter spend about 4 per cent of their total IT budget on cybersecurity. Smaller banks including cooperative banks are not able to spend so much”, report several media outlets.

Meanwhile, in a partial victory Pune Cyber police has recovered Rs 1.10 lac from two regular customers. It was a plain greed they succumbed to when the international cyber criminals were active stealing money from the Cosmos Bank.

The Cyber police, investigating the case, clarified that they are not involved in the crime. They are those who incidentally visited Cosmos Bank ATMs at the time when the bank’s server, was compromised and international criminals were siphoning off money. The special investigating team (SIT) has recovered Rs 1.10 lakh from two regular customers of Cosmos Cooperative Bank.

Police says that the ATMs used for withdrawing cash have been traced successively. “A total of 71 ATMs of different banks in 31 cities in Maharashtra and near the state border have been detected”, reports Pune Mirror. There is a high possibility of recovery from more such customers, it added.

It bears recall that earlier the country’s second largest urban cooperative bank Cosmos Bank fell victim to a suspected case of malware and cyberattack in one of its servers. Milind Kale, the Chairman of Pune headquartered UCB had told Indian Cooperative that both the Visa and Rupay debit cards fell victim to a malware attack on the ATM switch located at the bank’s headquarters on Ganeshkhind Road in the city.

“As soon as the suspicious transactions were reported, the bank immediately shut its VISA and Rupay Debit Card Payment System”, Kale underlined. But by then the criminals had cheated the UCB of more than Rs 93 crore.