Banks in the United Arab Emirates are struggling to resolve a security breach after it emerged that hackers used counterfeit bank and credit cards to steal funds from customers’ accounts.
The lenders declined to say how much money had been stolen or how many accounts were skimmed, but an initial investigation by the banks indicated that cash machines were rigged with devices that stole customers’ PINs as they made withdrawals.
Suvo Sarkar, general manager of retail banking for Emirates NBD, one of the nation’s largest lenders, said: “We don’t really know how this happened.”
However, one industry source suggested that the problem could be internal and more widespread. “The fact that the stolen numbers appear to have been stolen randomly suggests the banks themselves were somehow breached.”
The banks involved include HSBC, Citibank, Lloyds TSB, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Emirates NBD