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More than 30 lakh debit cards Hacked | Is your card safe ? Do you need to change the PIN ?

If you are in India and if you have a debit card, it is very likely that you must have received a sms or email from your bank asking you to change the PIN of the ATM card you hold. While transmitting this message is a standard practice altogether that all banks do at certain intervals, however, this time it is something more serious than just caution message. Reports say that around 32 lacks debit cards belonging to various major banks have been compromised in India.

Initial reports suggested that this could be a biggest financial breach ever reported in our country with SBI, Axis Bank, HDFC, Yes Bank, and ICICI are the most effected one's. This surely is worrisome considering that today almost everyone has a debit card and 32 lakh is a huge number. So now quiestion arises is your card also affected by the breach incident? If yes, what should you do now, we will explain you everything step by step.

How serious is this Breach ?

According to what reports say, around 26 lakh of these compromised cards are on Visa and Mastercard platform, while over 6 lakhs are on the other platform ie Rupay.
SBI has confirmed that it has already blocked over 6 lakh debit cards in India after the card network companies like VISA, NCPI, MasterCard informed the affected bank authorities about a possible data breach. SBI also commented that this breach did not involve its own ATM systems and networks.

We would like to emphasise that State Bank of India(SBI)'s systems have absolutely not been compromised and current card holders are not at any kind of risk and can continue to use their debit cards. However as a precautionary measure, SBI is in the process of issuing totally new cards at no cost to only those card holders whose cards have been blocked. This is a cards industry's incident (not only SBI)," as said by one of the SBI spokes person.

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has also received complaints from various affected banks. According to a News editor "The Hindu", The RBI has asked the banks to replace its 17.5 lakh debit cards.

Customers have already been receiving cautionary messages from their respective banks asking them to change there ATM PIN's. Axis Banks resorted to blocking some ATMs till the PIN was changed from the bank's ATM. Same Yes Bank also limited the cash withdrawal to maximum Rs 5,000 per day till there PIN was changed.Similarly, HDFC has also notified their users to change their respective PIN weeks before the reports of breach went on to public. The bank has also told its customers to not to use HDFC's debit card in some other bank's ATM systems.

Besides advising the people that we know have used a NON HDFC Bank ATM in the recent past to change (their) ATM PIN, we here are advising our customers to use only HDFC Bank ATMs as we believe that security controls at some of the other bank ATM machines may not be adequate with HDFC Bank ATMs," a spokesperson told Economic Times

How did it happened ?

The card network companies, Visa, MasterCard, Rupay, have received some complaints from banks about unauthorised card usage from varoius locations in China.
According to the reports, the breach could have generated mainly Hitachi Payment Services. Hitachi at the moment is one of the largest providers for Point of Sale services, ATM systems and mobile transactions in India. A malware present in the Hitachi system could have compromised most of the user data.

It is suggested that the malware actually was active for about six weeks before it could be detected. While the banks haven't shared further details on the type or extent of the attack, the Payments Council of India (PCI) has ordered a forensic audit and investigation on Indian bank servers and systems in order to find the origin of breach.

However, SBI and other banks have denied any kind of breach in their systems, But still, the possibility of system-wide breach at this point of time cannot be denied. We will (possibly) have some more information regarding this in the upcoming days.

Now this all has happened, What should you do now ?

Since,The affected banks have already started asking their customers to either change the PIN or get a brand new card from the bank. If any one of you have received such instruction, you need to follow up with bank carefully.
A simple PIN change will unblock your card, But still, it is advisable to get a new card instead. The current batch of cards uses a magnetic strips, which is comparatively easier to access as compared to a chip-based EMV card. These chip-based cards actually come with added extra layers of security in simple terms. The RBI have asked all the banks systems to upgrade their debit cards to chip based EMVs.

So, Follow below instructions for safe banking:

-> Go to your own bank's ATM and change the PIN.
-> If your card is blocked, ask for a new card immediately.
-> Change your PIN every two or three months.
-> Never ever share your ATM PIN with anyone.
-> Always keep changing your net banking passwords, if you have net banking activated.
-> Keep track of all the activity in your transaction details. (Even a rupee debited out of your knowledge should be reported)

Happy and Safe Banking
Team Technorants Point

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