The Bangladesh Bank has warned all banks of a fresh cyber attack from North Korea based hacker group, asking to take extra security measures.
The warning came after the central bank received cautionary alarm from the Federal Reserve Bank of US two weeks back, according to source in the Bangladesh Bank.
Many banks, which have vast network in digital banking, have limited their online activities following the warning, said some bankers.
"We got the warning notice around 10 days back from the central bank about a North Korea based hacking group," said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director of Mutual Trust Bank.
He said a hacking group has been trying to breach the system of banks in US recently. As a result, they sent message to all central banks to take cautionary measures about it.
"We took extra security measures from all points of IT system to protect the cyber attack," he said.
Dutch-Bangla Bank, which have highest network of ATM booths across the country, has suspended booth transaction after 11pm temporarily to avert the cyber attack, said source in the bank.
The warning of cyber attack came at the time when banks in the country are heavily expanding their digital banking network amid the pandemic.
Earlier in February 2016, Bangladesh Bank faced biggest cyber heist which took away $81 million from its foreign exchange reserve account with the New York Fed. An investigation of FED found involvement of North Korea based hacker group with this heist.
The central bank has been trying to recover the stolen money since then.
The country's internet banking services have been booming amid the Covid-19 pandemic as customers are seeking online services to protect themselves from the virus.
According to the central bank's data, in June 2020, transactions through internet banking had increased by 12.6 percent since March.
In March, when the country diagnosed its first novel coronavirus case, internet banking transactions were Tk6,588 crore. The monthly transactions increased to Tk7,421 crore by June this year.
This boost in online banking is the result of mega shift of banking sector from traditional banking to digital banking amid pandemic situation.
Though, many Bangladeshi banks have expanded their digital network massively, still security concern is high here due to lack of skilled manpower and less investment in IT security, said bankers.