Hackers in Europe siphon off money from Axis Bank Mumbai accounts

Mumbai, June 14 (IANS) In a shocker for Mumbai police, at least 14 salary accounts of policemen with the private Axis Bank were hacked and the monies siphoned out by some unidentified persons in Britain and Greece, a top official said here Friday.

The salary accounts of the 14 policemen are among a total of 29 accounts which were hacked in the past few weeks, raising serious concerns of modern online banking system among the law enforcers.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Satyanarain Choudhary, while confirming the development, told media persons that the entire issue is being investigated thoroughly.

"The incidents have been observed since April. Besides the salary accounts of the policemen, there are savings accounts of general public. Even last night (Thursday), the bank officials confirmed that accounts were hacked in different parts of the city," said Choudhary.

According to preliminary investigations and the check of the bank's internal systems, an amount of around Rs.1.30 million has been detected from three cities in Britain and Athens in Greece.

Not ruling out a possible leak of sensitive data from the bank, including confidential pin numbers and passwords of the ATM debit cards of the affected customers, investigators say that some of the victims received SMSs saying that the cash in their accounts had been withdrawn in euros.

After getting hold of the sensitive data of the customers, police suspect a gang may be making duplicate cards and making withdrawals unhampered from ATMs in Britain and Greece.

Cyber crime sleuths have already tracked one such duplicate card used at an Axis Bank ATM near the headquarters of the state police in Colaba.

The Axis Bank and the Cyber Crime Cell have joined hands under Choudhary to trace the debit card swipe records across Britain and Europe in the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, in relief to the victims, the Axis Bank has assured that all of them would be paid their money from insurance claims.

A formal case has been lodged by the Axis Bank with the N.M.Joshi Marg police station which is probing the case along with the Cyber Crime Cell of Mumbai police.

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