Kasaragod: Hackers have siphoned off Rs 21 lakh that was deposited by two cooperative banks from the district in the Vidyanagar branch of the State Bank of India.
The two banks had deposited money in the national bank via internet banking. The police and the cybercell have started an inquiry into the incident.
Hackers first targeted the Bedadka Service Cooperative Bank, which lost Rs 5 lakh. The complaint received by the Cyberdome, Kerala Police's cyber-forensic research wing, said this amount has been converted into virtual currency Bitcoin, making it hard to trace.
Within three days of the Bedadka theft, Chengala Service Cooperative Bank lost Rs 16 lakh to hackers. However, the SBI says that the money from the Chengala bank has not been lost since the account has been frozen on receiving the complaint.
Police suspect that the hacking has been done through the server of SBI.
The police have been directed to file a case after preliminary inquiry, said district police chief K G Simon.
Though the deposits of cooperative bodies and banks are in the district cooperative banks, these banks rely on SBI to provide internet banking facility to customers.
Most banks started depending on nationalized banks post-demonetization when cash transactions of bigger amounts became difficult.
In the wake of the banks losing money to hackers, the registrar of cooperative societies CM Ajeya Mohan has advised cooperative banks to improve cyber security measures for corporate internet banking accounts and transactions.
The banks have been told to introduce one-time passwords for online transactions. If they need to, the banks should obtain services of software providers to secure the transactions. The district joint registrar has been entrusted with monitoring the security enhancement measures.