Pune Crime: Hackers who breached off with Rs 94 Crore from Cosmos Bank arrested

Sep 19, 2018, 17:55 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

The Pune city police's cyber crime cell also claimed that four of the arrested suspects are also involved in City Union Bank, Chennai, from where Rs 33 crores were transferred

Pune Crime: Hackers who breached off with Rs 94 Crore from Cosmos Bank arrested
Customers crowd outside the Dadar branch of Cosmos Bank on coming to know about the incident

The Cybercrime cell of the Pune city police have arrested seven people in connection with the major hacking of Cosmos Bank servers. The hackers had managed to withdraw Rs 94.42 crores last month by hacking into the servers of the Pune branch of Cosmos Bank. The hackers transferred Rs 94.42 crore to different accounts and later withdrew the cash in Hong Kong. The breach happened between August 11 and 13, with bank officials finding out about it on the last day and lodging a complaint.

The cyber crime cell on Tuesday claimed that four of the arrested suspects are also involved in City Union Bank, Chennai, from where Rs 33 crores were transferred.

Based on complaint from bank official Suhas Gokhale (53), an FIR was registered with Chatushrungi police station against unidentified persons and ALM Trading for offences under sections 420 (cheating), 379 (theft), 120b (criminal conspiracy), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of Information Technology (IT) Act.

Pune Cosmos Bank
The bank had disabled ATM facility and online transactions for two days as a precaution after the hacking incident took place. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Police said that the following suspects are involved in Chennai case - Naresh Laxminarayan Maharana (34) of Palghar, and Yustes Augustin Vaz alias Anthony (41) of Mumbai, and Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Jabbar ( 28), Fahim Azim Khan (30), both residents of Sillod in Aurangabad district.

Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Economic and Cyber wing Jyotipriya Singh said, "We suspect that the current arrested person will be handed over to the Chennai police for further investigation. There are chances that these people might be involved."

In a major security breach at Cosmos Bank, unidentified persons hacked it’s server and transferred Rs 94.42 crores and withdrawn them. Bank officials had said that there was malware attack. The Bank has lodged a complaint against unidentified persons and ALM Trading Limited, Hong Kong as Rs 13.92 crores was transferred to their account with Hong Kong Bank in Hong Kong.

Cosmos Hack
A CCTV grab shows people inside one of the branches of the bank

According to the police, the ATM switch (server) located at Cosmos Bank head office on Ganeshkhind road was hacked between 3 pm to 10 pm on August 11. The hackers had stolen information of Visa and RuPay debit cardholders. In 12,000 transactions of Visa card, they transferred Rs 78 crores out of India. Similarly, in 2849 transactions of RuPay card holders, Rs 2.5 crores was transferred within India.

Again on August 13 around 11.30 am, Rs 13.92 crores were transferred to ALM Trading Limited account in Hong Kong bank through SWIFT transaction.

Earlier the cyber cell of the Pune police had said that the money was withdrawn from ATMs in Pune, Mumbai, Kolhapur, and Indore. Account holders of the Cosmos Bank were in a state of panic since the day the bank lost Rs 94 crore due to a malware attack on its system. Though the authorities had made it clear that nothing was wrong with people's accounts and their money was safe, many just approached the bank to get their account statements and transaction details.

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