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SIT arrests two in Rs 94.42 crore online theft at Cosmos Bank

The SIT officials said they have seized Rs 3.55 lakh, six hard-discs, two CDs, one DVD, two pen drives, two mobiles and one SIM card from their possession.

Updated: Sep 12, 2018 14:26:03

By Nadeem Inamdar

On August 14, Pune-based Cosmos cooperative bank reported a malware attack on its online banking system stating that unidentified hackers siphoned Rs 94.42 crore through ATMs and online transfers. (SANKET WANKHADE/ HT PHOTO )

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Rs 94.42 crore online theft at Cosmos Bank achieved a major breakthrough on Tuesday, after it arrested two persons for illegally withdrawing money using cloned debit cards.

The police have identified those arrested in the case as Faheem Mehfuz Shaikh (27), a resident of Noorani Complex in Bhiwandi and Fahim Azim Khan (30), a resident of Sillod in Aurangabad. Besides the two, the SIT has also identified others including Mahesh Rathod, Kunal, Ali, Mohammad, Anthony for their involvement in the theft.

On August 14, Pune-based Cosmos cooperative bank reported a malware attack on its online banking system stating that unidentified hackers siphoned Rs 94.42 crore through ATMs and online transfers. According to SIT officials, the duo were arrested based on CCTV footage obtained from multiple locations in Kolhapur.

“Shaikh and Azim Khan along with others withdrew Rs 89.47 lakh from ATMs of various banks using cloned debit card between 3 pm and 10 pm on August 11,” SIT officials told a Pune court while seeking their police custody. The court later remanded the duo to police custody till September 18.



The SIT officials said they have seized Rs 3.55 lakh, six hard-discs, two CDs, one DVD, two pen drives, two mobiles and one SIM card from their possession.

Police Inspector Jayram Paigude in his remand application before the court stated that over 12,000 transactions worth Rs 78 crore and 2,849 transactions worth Rs 2.50 crore through Rupay Debit cards and three transactions worth Rs 13.92 crore, totalling Rs 94.42 crore, were done during the fraud.

The SIT suspects the online theft was committed by hackers based in multiple places internationally. According to officials, during the malware attack, a proxy switch was created and all payment approvals were passed by the proxy switching system. In the first attack on August 11, using stolen card details, approximately Rs 78 crore was withdrawn in transactions in 28 countries. This included around 12,000 Visa card transactions. On the same day, approximately, Rs 2.5 crore was withdrawn through 2,800 debit card transactions in India at various locations.

On August 13, the hackers transferred Rs 13.94 crore into an account in the Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong by initiating a SWIFT transaction.

The SIT led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Economic Offence Wing and Cyber Cell) Jyotipriya Singh, has so far recovered about Rs 6 lakh from genuine bank customers referred to as “accidental beneficiaries” of the cyber attack as they also received additional sums in their account during the online attack.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 14:25:53

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