Cyberattack On Indian Operations Of State Bank Of Mauritius 
An attendee working on an Apple Inc. laptop computer participates in the Yahoo! Inc. Mobile Developer Conference Hackathon in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)

Cyberattack On Indian Operations Of State Bank Of Mauritius 

The State Bank of Mauritius said its Indian operations faced a cyberattack that could lead to a potential loss of $14 million (about Rs 100 crore) in the third such breach in the country this year.

The attack happened on Oct. 2 through fraudulent SWIFT payments and the bank is conducting an internal investigation, according to a statement on website of SBM Holdings, the lender’s parent. The bank said none of its customers will face any losses and has reported the matter to relevant authorities for an external investigation.

This is the third such breach and the second involving the SWIFT payments messaging system in India this year. In February, City Union Bank had said that hackers based outside India transferred $2 million (about Rs 13 crore) through three unauthorised transactions via the SWIFT messaging system, news agency Reuters reported. Then in August, Pune-based Cosmos Bank said that fraudsters outside India hacked into its server to steal Rs 94 crore.

While the Punjab National Bank suffered a loss of Rs 13,000-crore because of the alleged misuse of the SWIFT messaging system by some of its employees and jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, it was a fraud and not a cyberbreach.

The RBI has mandated banks to set up a cybersecurity framework to better manage instances of fraud. The State Bank of Mauritius said its Indian operations are carrying out a full cybersecurity review. “In parallel, recovery efforts are being pursued and are expected to lead to a significantly reduced figure.”

A person in the know told BloombergQuint requesting anonymity that the bank managed to recover about $10 million lost due to the cyberattack and the effective loss could be limited to $4 million. The State Bank of Mauritius’s statement, however, didn’t say if it had recovered anything.

The lender, which entered India in 1994 and has four branches, said its Indian operations would continue as normal. Fresh from a licence from the regulator to operate under the wholly owned subsidiary model, the bank has plans to launch six more branches.

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