A private company with a manufacturing unit in Doddanekkundi Industrial area in the city has claimed to have lost more than Rs. 39 lakh after its Internet banking account was hacked on June 20.

The Mumbai-based Gujarat Petrosynthese Ltd., which manufactures polymers and blending alloys at its facility here, has complained that the money had been removed from its account in 15 unauthorised online transactions in a single day.

Executive Director Urmi Prasad told presspersons here on Wednesday that the firm had an account with Axis Bank's Marathahalli branch. “Out of the 15 unauthorised transactions, seven accounted for transfer of money to holders of Axis Bank accounts and the rest to account holders in different banks across the country,” he said and added that a complaint had been lodged with the HAL police on June 21, a day after the unauthorised transactions took place.

The transactions were traced to accounts in Agra, Noida, New Delhi, Tirunelveli, Navi Mumbai and Bangalore. “The Bangalore account seems to be a test account, with just Rs. 10 transferred to it,” said N. Vijayshankar, a cyber law consultant who is helping the company.

He said that according to RBI guidelines, the bank should compensate for any loss due online frauds. “According to the RBI guidelines, the onus is on the bank to prove that the fraud complaint by the customer is wrong; and if not proven, the bank is liable to [compensate] the fraud.” However, he said, when the company contacted the bank, it threw the ball right back into the firm's court, blaming it for compromising the internet banking password.

“Internal investigations of all mails [concluded] that there was no response to any of the phishing mails,” said Mr. Vijayshankar, adding that banks had not implemented risk management software, which would significantly lower online frauds.

Phishing?

Meanwhile, Axis Bank blamed the firm's loss on phishing. “This is a clear case of phishing attack where the customer has compromised their internet banking login ID and password in violation of [our] guidelines,” Julius Samson, senior vice-president and Head of Corporate Communications, said in an email response. “Axis Bank is extending full co-operation in the police investigation,” he added.

Keywords: phishing

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