Is NEPS Accountable For The Hacking Issues In Nepal?

Nepal police arrests Chinese nationals for hacking ATMs
Nepal police arrests Chinese nationals for hacking ATMs

Thursday, September 5, 2019, Kathmandu

In the past years, there has been a steady increase in cyber-attacks. However, we witnessed a similar attack on Nepal. Now, Banks of Kathmandu are on high alert after Chinese nationals hacked ATM system on 5th September.

Following the attack, the NEPS (Nepal Electronic Payment System Limited), Police department and all the experts from RNB and other banks are working together to find the details of hacking. Nevertheless, even after continuing the process of investigation, the complete information is still yet to be discovered.

 Out of eight Chinese nations, six has been caught, but the police are incapable of finding two hackers, who fled away before they got caught. The challenges have been increasing because such technical crimes are still a new challenge for Nepal. For further information, CCTV footages of various ATM Booth is being checked.

 While the progress is still seemingly in the process but the new challenges is continuingly taking place. As we didn’t have such a history of robbery by using Malware Software, yet, we had ATMs robbery through stealing pin codes. This is also another challenge for the banking system.

The languages had been another barrier to the investigation. The chines could not speak Nepali and English and vice versa. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Uttam Raj SUbedi said, “The planning of hacker to take money from banks account rather than choosing personal accounts proves that they want to take a great deal of money, so the investigation process is wide.”

Deputy Superintendent, Uttam Raj Bogati said. “In spite of using a middleman for the communication, we are trying to trace down even the smallest details to get the information.”

On the other side, as NEPS is looking after 11 commercial Banks and 7 Development Bank but why it failed to identify such errors has questioned the NEPS security regarding whether to trust NEPS or not.

According to bankers, to get the NEPS services bank has to pay 1.30 crore to 4 crores annually, so the NEPS is solely responsible for all the money and has to pay compensations for providing flawed technology.

Still, the suspicious activities on the banking system are seen in different banks. Though the inter-banking transactions had been cut off, inquiry of baking transactions through different ATMs is happening. This also proves that all the hackers had not been caught. So the total number of hackers involved is still unknown. 

 Police have informed that for the further investigation expert are being hired.

NEPS has accepted the mistakes of security. The CEO of NEPS addressed the issues of how Malware was set up between NEPS and Visa. He has drawn pictures of how it affected during the meeting.

The first issues of NEPS are that it was unaware of unusual transactions and Malware; second is even after four days of hacking, it did not report the police. This shows the irresponsible system of NEPS. Today, the CEO of NEPS was called by the police for the clarification.

DSP Bogati said, “The NEPS should be responsible for the robbery.”

 The insurance issues of NEPS was also disclosed today. It deals with crores of money, but it turns out that it has not done insurance.

The CEO said, the insurance company denied when we talked about insurance because they were not ready to involve in such unsafe protection.

Such hacking incidents have been happening all over the places but why NEPS didn’t bother to strengthen their system is another unanswered question for all of us.

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