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Finance Ministry seeks info from banks on debit cards security breach


New Delhi, Oct 20: Concerned over security breach in 32 lakh debit cards of various banks, the Finance Ministry has sought details from lenders as also the additional steps that need to be taken to avert such incidents.

According to the ministry sources, the Department of Financial Services has sought information about implication of such data compromise from Indian Banks Association.

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"We have got information from SBI that PIN (Personal Identification Number) related with few debit cards has been compromised and the bank is in the process of replacing it with new card in secured manner," the sources said. The bank has taken measures to ensure safety of data, sources added.

"Card network companies NPCI, MasterCard and Visa had informed various banks about a potential risk to some cards owing to a data breach. Accordingly, we have taken precautionary measures and have blocked cards of certain customers identified by the networks," SBI in a statement said.

Read more: Pre-Diwali panic as over 3 million debit cards 'tainted'

A major security breach at a payment services company which manages ATM network of a private sector bank, forced other lenders to block and recall debit cards of more than 32 lakh customers to protect them from falling prey to any financial fraud.

While some of the banks like SBI have re-called around 6 lakh cards, others like Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Central Bank and Andhra Bank have already replaced their debit cards which are affected as a pre-emptive measure. Some of the lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Yes Bank have asked customers to change their ATM pin numbers.

HDFC Bank also advised all customers to use its ATMs only for carrying out any transaction. The security breach happened through a malware in the systems of Hitachi Payments Services, which serves Yes Bank.

Hitachi provides payment services through ATM services, point of sale services (POS), emerging payments services and banking channel products like cash recycling ATMs and auto passbook entry machines.

In light of the incident, Yes Bank's managing director and chief executive Rana Kapoor underlined the need for a greater vigilance on outsourced work.


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