Tesco Bank attack impacted thousands
Tesco Bank's Chief Executive blamed a "systematic, sophisticated attack" that was responsible for impacting thousands of customer accounts. A massive 40,000 customer accounts reported suspicious transactions over the weekend. Half of these, almost 20,000, had money withdrawn from them. As a temporary precaution, Tesco Bank has blocked current account customers from making online payments via their debit cards.
Tesco Bank is a Britain-based retail bank which was launched in 1997. Tesco Bank, formerly a joint venture between 'The Royal Bank of Scotland and UK's largest supermarket, Tesco, is now wholly-owned by Tesco Plc. It has 7.8 million customers.
Tesco Bank under attack
Tesco Bank (Tesco) was the victim of an online attack over the weekend. Tesco's CEO, Benny Higgins confirmed the attack on Monday and revealed that some accounts of customers were the target of "online criminal activity." In many cases, customers had reported money being withdrawn fraudulently. Tesco was also forced to block some cards due to "suspicious activity".
Tesco attack unnerves experts and customers
According to several security experts, this was an unprecedented breach where the bank's "central system" was targeted. Although Tesco revealed very little about the nature of the attack, experts believe it was an automated process that exploited vulnerabilities in the bank's website. Many were left with minuscule bank-balances and requests for emergency funds from Tesco were turned down.
Mounting costs of cyber crimes
According to a recent report by Get Safe Online and National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, cyber-crime has been a growing concern for banks; it cost the UK economy a massive £10.9bn last year.
What happens next?
According to the Financial Conduct Authority, banks are required to refund unauthorized payments immediately, unless there is evidence of customer negligence. Tesco's Chief Executive assured everyone that affected customers would have their money refunded by the end of Tuesday, November 8. Customers can continue to use cards for cash withdrawals and in stores however online purchases are temporarily disabled.
Bank accounts under threat
Dridex malware was developed by skilled cyber criminals in Eastern Europe to harvest online banking details. Last year, UK internet users were warned about it as the malware had allowed criminals to steal 20 million pounds from UK banks.