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Government Investigates Debit Card Theft, Says Do Not Panic: 10 Developments

The government has sought a detailed report on the misuse of debit cards after a suspected data breach may have compromised over 3 million cards, the Finance Ministry said today, assuring customers that there is no need for panic.

  1. "Customers should not panic because these hackings are done through computers and a trail can easily be reached... they should not be alarmed. Whatever action has to be taken, it will be done with speed," said Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
  2. 3.2 million debit cards of major public and private banks are feared to have been compromised by a cyber malware attack in some ATM systems, the National Payments Corporation of India or NPCI has said.
  3. The government's national card payments network said a forensic audit is being conducted to investigate the possible data breach. 
  4. The NPCI said the investigation was ordered after banks reported that debit cards of their customers were fraudulently used in China and the US.
  5. It said 641 customers from 19 banks had reported fraud withdrawals of a total 1.3 crore rupees.
  6. Top official GC Murmu said only 0.5 per cent of the country's total debit card details were compromised; 99.5 cards are completely safe.
  7. "Since the data compromise took place from specific machines within a particular time period, it is just a limited issue and banks have asked their affected customers to replace their card or change their PIN," said Mr Murmu, who is with the department of financial services.
  8. India's largest lender State Bank of India and other banks have either blocked and recalled cards or advised customers to change the security codes or PINs for the cards.
  9. SBI said it has blocked and will replace 6,25,000 debit cards as precaution and that its customers will be compensated for losses, which it estimates at about Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 12 lakh.
  10. There were 697.2 million debit cards in India as of end-July, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India.


Image Source ndtv.com

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