Global Editions

HBL under Cyberattack

by Jawad Ali

The bank again blocks thousands of debit cards as users’ information gets compromised for the second time.

Habib Bank Limited again blocked their debit cards of thousands of customers which were initially blocked on February 23 as the users’ information was compromised.

The bank official disclosed that initially thousands of customers debit cards were blocked by the bank as some cyber hackers attacked the HBL users which compelled the bank to block the users’ debit cards in order to minimize the loss. After the investigation, the bank came to know that the user information was comprised through Visa. HBL then decided to switch their credit cards to UnionPay services from Visa.

The bank issued the new cards from UnionPay to their customers from the start of the March 2016 which were again blocked from March 7, 2016 on account of security reasons.

This time in some cases, double cards were used against a single number due to which, the bank has again started re-blocking the cards and will issue new cards to them.

The bank official said that there is a continuity of the cyberattack on the bank. Earlier, some hackers allegedly from Indian origin had attacked the bank in September 2015 which caused some losses to the bank customers and the bank blocked the cards of the users. Before that, HBL changed their website portal address after facing problems and cyberattack threats in early 2015.

The bank official said that the new cards are being delivered free of cost while the bank is giving option of delivering the debit cards to the users postal address option too. Otherwise, the debt cards are handed over to the HBL users at their respective bank branch in person. However, to make the process hassle-free and convenient to the customers’ bank has been delivering the new debit cards to the postal address, the official said.

Talking about the credit cards, the bank official said that in second phase, all other visa debit cards which are current working will be blocked and the new debit cards will be issued to all customers of the HBL followed by the credit cards, which will also change to new service from Visa.

Hussain, a user of the HBL Visa debit card whose card was blocked on February 23 2016 said that he received a new debit card on March 3, “I reactivated my new card by calling the call center and made some transactions on the ATM. However, today again, got a SMS advising me that my card has been blocked and now a new card will be issued to me again,” he said.


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