ISLAMABAD - Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched a public awareness campaign to promote awareness about the privacy and security risks of public bank accounts hacking for surveillance and stressed the need to educate illiterate in the country about preventive measures of accounts misuse.

The banks should introduces a ‘Biometric system’ on all  related ATM machines to further secure the public accounts, Director of FIA Cyber-Crimes Wing Captain (Retd) Muhammad Shoaib said this while talking to PTV.

The privacy and security of the monetary transactions is a serious challenge due to the hacking issue, however, very strict and well measured steps have been taken to ensure security of public bank accounts from the threat of being hacked.

He explained that one easy step to ensure a secure bank account is to constantly checking your account balance, reviewing your monthly statement and if you make any bank transactions through the internet make sure that your internet is safe and protected. The Director said that the usage of your official and personal mail addresses should be very carefully done as hackers can obtain all the personal information about your account through your email address, use it and reset its password.

Another way is to make your password very strong and not easily hacked, he said.

Make sure that your devices, internet browser and operating system are always updated, he added.

With these cases become more common, the challenge for the government has also increased, he said, adding Pakistan needs to improve its digital security to moves towards greater technology adoption.

The Director at complaints regarding stealing of money from the bank accounts said that the issue had increased over the past two years,  however, department within the years have received almost 1500 complaints where more than 100 cases are being investigated by the agency in connection with the breach.

He said that “It is the responsibility of the banks to protect the money of their clients.”

The managements of the banks have been advised to make their data security fool-proof, otherwise, they would lose confidence of account holders, he advised.

FIA Deputy Director Mehmoodul Hassan Sati said “We are trying to play a proactive role in preventing bank pilferage”. We also conducting meetings with all banks for ensuring the security measures to meet future challenges, ensure real-time monitoring of card operations related systems and transactions, he said.

He said that the FIA has written to the banks in question and is summoning the banks representatives to discuss the situation.

The official pointed out that banks are responsible for ensuring security of their clients’ data. If a bank’s security infrastructure is weak then the bank is to be held responsible for any breach, he added.