Turns out, after Standard Bank’s heist of R300m, their computer systems might have been compromised. Of course, Standard Bank isn’t commenting on the new report where police found evidence that the systems were probably compromised during the international heist in which 1.8 billion Yeng was illegally withdrawn from ATMs across Japan.
A report from the Japan news (The Yomiuri Shimbun) said that investigators have discovered that there was some kind of unauthorised access of a computer system of Standard Bank in South Africa and it took place shortly before the cash withdrawals started.
The Japanese newspaper quoted some unnamed sources close to the investigation saying that the police are suspecting that, the unauthorised access was made by an overseas criminal syndicate as it required sophisticated knowledge of hacking. It is believed that the criminal group conspired with the criminal syndicate to “paralyze” Standard Bank’s systems before withdrawing the sums of cash.
Standard Bank only revealed in May of this year it had been the victim of the fraud. At the time, it was said that they expected to have lost R300 million from the incident. According to Standard Bank’s spokesman Ross Linstrom, the target of the fraud has been Standard Bank, luckily there has been no financial loss to customers.
Reports at that time suggested that information from 1600 credit cards was used to commit the fraud. According to The Yomiuri Shimbun’s sources, the stolen data from Standard Bank was used to create forged cards and that was used to do the cash withdrawals.
The newspaper also claims that its source said “analysis of the computer system revealed that a program in the system was operated with in no authorisation early in the morning on 15 May, shortly before the simultaneous withdrawals were made.”
Turns out, police believe the system was hacked by someone outside the bank, no trace were found that information should have been sent to Standard Bank, which lead the police to suspect that Standard Bank’s systems were hacked.
In fact, the source of the newspaper said that no trace of authorisation of the withdrawals were found for a period of about 2 and a half hours from after 05:00 on the 15th of May. The hackers were also likely to have stolen the data during the hack and transferred it to empty cards.
Linstrom said on Thursday that Standard Bank couldn’t really comment on whether or not their systems were hacked or not as the investigation is still on going and that the investigation is currently at a sensitive stage.
Linstrom also said Standard Bank was able to contain any further losses and that’s why the amount stolen is still estimated to be R300 million, fortunately there has been no customer loss or impact.
Because Standard Bank is cooperating and assisting authorities both abroad and locally, it would be inappropriate to comment on speculation regarding this matter due to the sensitivity of the investigation and the multi-jurisdictional nature of the enquiry.