Data Of 18 Crore PNB Customers Exposed For 7 Months! But Bank Plays Down Impact
The Chandigarh-based cybersecurity firm CyberX9 has brought to light in its report, a vulnerability in the server of public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB), which as per the cybersecurity firm, has exposed personal and financial information of nearly 180 million PNB customers for 7 straight months.
While the bank has acknowledged the said glitch, it has denied any exposure to the personal information of bank customers.
What Has CyberX9 Reported?
In its report dated November 21, 2021, the cybersecurity firm CyberX9 has stated that it discovered a highly critical security issue in the digital banking system of Punjab National Bank on November 17, 2021, giving access to the highest level privileges of administrator in an internal server of the lender.
This led to the exposure of over 180 million PNB users’ personal and financial information, and severely compromised the security of their funds for the past 7 months.
The report further added that this vulnerability in the bank’s server could have given any malicious attacker full access to the highest level of admin privilege.
An attacker could have potentially had the ability to remotely execute any code on them, steal data, make transactions, get complete control of such connected computer systems.
CyberX9 is of the view that attackers may have even exploited the vulnerability in PNB’s server, and infiltrated into their systems.
The cybersecurity firm states that the state-run lender could have fixed the vulnerability discovered by the former in May 2021 by just going ahead with a security update to a server application but they did not.
What Did PNB Respond?
As stated above, the public sector bank has confirmed the presence of a vulnerability in its server but has denied compromising any user’s critical data due to it.
It went ahead and stated, “The server wherein the vulnerability was reported, was being used as one of the multiple Exchange Hybrid servers used to route emails from On-prim to Office 365 Cloud. There is no sensitive/critical data in this server.
The server is in a separate VLAN segment and customer data/applications are not affected due to this. Vulnerability assessments and penetration testing is done periodically by external Cert-in empanelled Information Security Auditors and the observations are complied with.”
The bank has now shut down the said server as a precautionary measure.