22 July 2021, Kathmandu
News that Nepal’s banking system has been ‘hacked’ since Wednesday has caused panic. Mentioning the names of 16 banks, the message that the system has been “compromised” and that it is the biggest hack in South Asia has spread.
In the screenshot of the message, Nepal Rastra Bank spokesperson Dev Kumar Dhakal and co-spokesperson and information officer Narayan Prasad Pokhrel along with Nabil Bank CEO Anil Keshari Shah seem to have been sent an email. However, in a conversation with Tekpana, Pokhrel said that they have not received such emails yet.
“We have not received any such emails officially yet,” he said. “If we had sent the emails as seen in the message, we would have traced them by now.”
“This seems to be an attempt to terrorize the people by spreading rumors of hacking,” said Pokharel. “We are using the cyber bureau of the Nepal Police to bring those involved to justice.” Spokesperson Dhakal said on Thursday morning, “Your banking system has been hacked.” He said that the system has been hacked.
However, he said that no such suspicious activity was found in the banking system during the check. “It simply came to our notice then. It was just a stunt,” he said. “All our systems are still intact.” However, we have been investigating since this morning to find the perpetrator of this kind of terror.
The viral message claims that the systems of Nepal Rastra Bank, Kumari Bank, Nepal Bank, Nabil Bank, Rastriya Banijya Bank, and Machhapuchhre Bank have been hacked. The names of NMB Bank, NIC Asia Bank, Bank of Kathmandu, Citizens Bank, Sanima Bank, SBI Bank, Everest Bank, Nepal Investment Bank, and Himalayan Bank also appear in the message.
All bank branches have been warned to be closed for 48 hours from Thursday to prevent major losses. Otherwise, MICR and ECR systems and other online and offline transactions are threatened to be ‘compromised’ within 24 hours. Not only this but they have also been told not to make jokes by considering emails as a subject of rumors.
The Search has started
According to the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the search for hackers threatening to hack the systems of 15 banks of Nepal in Viber has begun.
The central bank said, “Employees of the IT department have already been deployed for the search mission and fake information was received through Viber. No hacker has emailed us.”
The NRB had received a message through Viber (messaging application) about hacking the systems of 15 banks of Nepal within 24 hours.
Also, the central bank mentioned, “It is not easy to hack the banking system of Nepal. Therefore, we won’t let anyone hack our system. A hunt for the hacker has already begun and strict action will be taken against him.”