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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 15/06/2013
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) While Mumbai police has been battling cybercrimes for years, the latest incident of hacking has come as a shock for the force, as the salary accounts of 14 police officials were hacked by criminals in Greece, who had cloned their ATM cards.

Hackers with cloned ATM cards of the 14 officials withdrew euros the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of rupees from ATMs in Greece. Mumbai police has now formed a special team to crack the latest hacking that has affected its own officials.

According to police sources, the salary accounts of 14 officials in Axis Bank, an Indian lender, were hacked as the criminal withdrew the money from ATMs in Greece. Security experts and even police officers from the cyber squad frequently caution people to be careful with their credit and debit cards, as criminals manage to scan the data and clone them on to blank cards, which they later use to withdraw funds.

Hackers usually copy the magnetic code on the cards, which are then transferred to blank cards and used to withdraw cash.

Last month, seven persons were arrested in the US foreing involved in a global ATM racket.

The gang managed to siphon off 45 million in a matter of hours from ATMs in 27 countries around the globe. However, these hackers had managed to siphon data from bank databases and individual accounts were not hacked into. Many banks in India have started issuing cards with built-in chips and doing away with magnetic strips, which can be easily copied. But most merchants in the country still do not have readers for the chips and have to scan the magnetic codes.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, cyber crimes increased by a whopping nearly 60 per cent last year in India. Maharashtra topped the list with more than 560 cyber crimes reported in 2012 (as against less than 400 in 2011). Security experts here often advise consumers to keep an eye on their cards when they make payments, especially at restaurants and retail outlets. Some criminals, who take up jobs at these outlets as waiters or shop assistants, are known to wear scanners hidden inside their belts and quickly swipe the card when no one is watching to copy the data from the magnetic strip.


Khaleej Times

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