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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

‘InterSwitch security uncompromised ‘

Cover of the week:

Management of the premier electronic payment switching solutions provider, InterSwitch Limited, has denied allegations making a round that its Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) switches have been compromised.

Champion Infotel recalls that over the weekend, a Short Messaging Service (SMS) and electronic mails (emails) were being speculated that InterSwitch network server hosting some of the 23 banks on the network, namely First Bank Nigeria Plc, UBA Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, GTB Plc, ECOBank Plc were infected with a purported Mpack Multi-Pertitie Malware, a computer virus used by cyber-criminals to access and steal information from a database.

Reacting to the reports, Managing Director, InterSwitch Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mitchel Elegbe, dismissed the allegations, saying that uptil date, there has not been any proof of compromising InterSwitch enabled-cards in the country, which has grown to over 7 million in the last five years of its debut.

As matter of fact, he said that the purported Mpack Multi-Pertitie Malware virus does not in the first place exist.

He also said that for any body to fraudulently tamper with any of InterSwitch cards, there must be access to the Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) either knowingly or ignorant of the cardholders.

He cautioned Nigerian Debit Card (NDC) holders to never disclose their cards’ PINs to anyone under any guise, reaffirming that the recent campaign orchestrated by one fake website, www.interswitchnig.com, has also been put to a stop.

Mr. Elegbe equally denied the allegation that approximated 1,500,000 (One million, Five hundred thousand) ATM Card numbers; PIN numbers and other ATM Card data have been allegedly stolen.

According to him, a key reason for cardholders to ignore such messages either via SMS or email is that it was not emanating from InterSwitch and its member banks.

In reality, he told Champion Infotel that stakeholders must note that these messages are fraudulent.

“There is no known computer virus called Mpack and the various messages were gimmicks designed to get a cardholder’s card number and PINs,” he warned.

InterSwitch, he said, is consistent with its offering based on international best practices, even as the firm do not have servers that store cardholders’ PINs either at InterSwitch or at member banks.

“PINs in transmission are encrypted using the most advanced algorithms as defined by relevant standard-setting entities and are unlikely to be compromised in transit,” he explained, stressing that devices use for de-encryption are tamper proof and self-destruct in the event of deliberate or accidental tamper.

He maintained that as long as the cardholder keeps his or her PIN secret, “your transactions remain safe,” adding that InterSwitch and its member banks do not have reason to ask customers to register their card details on any website.

“In the unlikely event that your card is compromised, you’re expected to hotlist, also known as blocking it and to re-register,” Mr. Elegbe pointed out.

He emphasised that by hotlisting of any ATM debit card could only be done based on the reports of customers to their banks, reassuring that any card with InterSwitch logo remains valid on all the channels including ATMs, Point of Sale (POS), mobile and Internet.

Disclosing that InterSwitch is collaborating with the nation’s Cybercrimes Directorate, Mr. Elegbe noted that it was the need to continuously educate stakeholders hence the emergence of fraudwatch@interswitchng.com and encouraged stakeholders to send any information regarding fraudsters’ activities to the above email.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

very informative