SBI Says Over 6 Lakh Debit Cards Being Replaced On Security Breach Fears

State Bank of India has said it has blocked and will replace 6,25,000 debit cards that the country’s biggest lender fears may have been compromised by a data breach. SBI has said that customers will be compensated for losses, which it estimates at about Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh.

“There is a suspicion that a data breach might have happened. We got this information from Visa, MasterCard and RuPay. As a measure of precaution, we have decided to replace these cards, which have been blocked,” SBI managing director Rajnish Kumar told NDTV.

Mr Kumar said the concern was that if hackers have access to card numbers and passwords it could be misused for e-commerce transactions or fund transfers. New cards would reach SBI customers soon, he said.

He also said the suspected breach had happened outside his bank’s ATM network. SBI has “requisite security measures in place, and an alert was picked up by a transaction monitoring system”, he said.

The potential breach has affected other banks too. Axis Bank said in a statement that its “internal monitoring mechanism identified such a threat recently and all steps have been undertaken to neutralize the same”.

It assured customers that it has “strong security systems and procedures in place” and a “large team of IT professionals and security experts who are constantly monitoring our systems, and mitigate any threat”.

“There is no evidence of a breach or compromise on Yes Bank ATMs,” said a statement from Yes Bank, adding, “Yes Bank continues to work with relevant stakeholders including other public sector and private sector banks and the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) to ensure utmost safety and security of its ATM network and payment services which are completely safe to use.”

The Economic Times has reported that 3.2 million debit cards have been affected by the data breach, of which 2.6 million are on the Visa and Master-Card platforms, and 6,00,000 on RuPay. SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and Axis Bank were worst hit, the newspaper reported.

There were 697.2 million debit cards in India as of end-July, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India.