Hackers prey on coop banks with cheap security software: Police

Top police officials, who are dealing with cases pertaining to hacking and cyber crimes, believe that unless urban cooperative banks, which are around 50, update their software they will be prone to attacks by hackers.

Despite several warnings by the city police, particularly in the wake of the Mahesh cooperative bank scam, over 95 per cent of cooperative banks are yet to update their security software.

“It is a simple process as all banks are linked to the local area network (LAN). They should understand the concept of ‘cyber hygiene’ and implement it,” said Dr. Gajarao Bhupal, DCP of detective department.

He said that it was unfortunate that even after city commissioner C.V. Anand had urged all cooperative banks to upgrade their software, only a negligible number bolstered their IT cell. They have not even hired qualified technical staff to maintain the IT cell.

As cooperative banks cannot afford expensive cyber security software, they have been advised to seek guidance from fireball experts as a means to prevent cyber crimes.
We have urged the RBI chief to issue guidelines to cooperative banks to update their cyber security but so far nothing has been done on that front, ‘ Anand said.

“Banks are responsible for the security of their customer’s money. On their failure to protect such deposits, the bank management can be prosecuted for negligence,” pointed out M.A. Qureshi, a High Court lawyer. All cooperative banks are using a cheap software that is made in Mumbai and is priced at Rs 12 lakh whereas nationalised and leading private banks have gone in for an impregnable automated security banking software developed by Infosys and TCS that costs around Rs 6.70 crore.