The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on Saturday faced a cyber attack, hindering the bank’s branches from providing services to their customers. The attack triggered concerns regarding delays in the payment of salaries and pensions for thousands of public sector employees.

The state-owned NBP issued a statement with regards to the cyber attack “Currently, the NBP’s services to its customers are disrupted, but we are working to address the breach and remain confident that essential customer services will be restored by Monday morning”.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also took to Twitter and said, “The NBP has reported a cyber security-related incident which is being investigated. NBP has not observed any data breach or financial loss. No other bank has reported any such incidence.”

The central bank assured that it is closely monitoring the situation to make sure that the banking system remains safe and sound. The customer deposits, as well as data, remained secure.

The NBP confirmed that a cyberattack had been detected on its servers between October 29 and 30. The attack had impacted a few of its services.

As per the statement, steps had been taken immediately to isolate the systems that had been affected. “At this point, no customer or financial data has been compromised.”

The bank emphasized that remediation efforts were being made with assistance from experts as well as international resources as required.

The statement added, “We are grateful for the understanding of our customers in this unusual situation and remain committed to the safety of their trust that they repose in the NBP”.

President at NBP Arif Usmani said, “The mainframe computer [servers] of the bank have totally remained unaffected from the cyberattack and personal computers have been disconnected from the mainframe as they are infected. Some 40-50 foreign as well as local experts are working to disinfect the system as we speak.”

He added that three highly professional companies including Microsoft are working to make the bank completely functional by Monday.

Usmani said, “We are aimed at making the bank work by Monday morning. We, on behalf of the government, start disbursing salaries from the first day of every month and Monday is November 1. We have to make the bank work by Monday morning. This attack is similar to the one encountered by the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue)”.

The FBR came under a cyber attack around two-and-half-month ago. It took nearly two weeks for FBR to completely recover from the attack.


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