The cyberattack occurred on the night between Friday and Saturday. It wreaked havoc on the bank’s backend systems, including servers that connect the bank’s branches, the backend infrastructure that controls the bank’s ATM network, and its mobile applications.
The bank and those acquainted with the attack and the present inquiry confirmed that some systems were damaged, but no money was reported stolen.
The bank stated in a statement on Saturday that immediate efforts were taken to isolate the vulnerable systems.
Over the weekend, recovery operations were in full gear. By Monday, NBP stated that over 1,000 branches reopened and serving clients as usual and that all ATMs across the country had been completely restored.
Despite the NBP’s clear statement, news of the attack did not deter some terrified customers from racing to ATMs to withdraw money on Monday morning.
Due to erroneous allegations in local news channels that up to nine different banks had been hacked, the Pakistani government was forced to intervene and release a statement to calm the situation and avert a run on all Pakistani banks on Monday.
A tweet from the SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) clarified that some false information about bank cybersecurity attacks is circulating, including statements ascribed to Chief Spokesman Mr. Abid Qamar. According to the falsified news, the hack hit nine banks, causing money to be withdrawn and data to be taken.
SBP disagrees with such reports. Except for NBP, no other bank has ever been the victim of a cyberattack. In addition, no money loss or data breach has been reported thus far. The SBP is keeping a careful eye on the situation and will provide any updates or information on the occurrence through its proper channels.
According to investigation sources, the event is investigated as sabotage rather than a ransomware strike.