The customers’ usernames and PIN numbers were stolen and then e-mails, phishing e-mails, were sent to withdraw 10 million yen ($130,000) from their accounts without their authorization.
SMBC received 50 inquiries until Oct. 12, withdrawing a total of 10 million yen from the customers.
Customers are under siege, according to security companies. There has been a big increase in the abuse of existing checking accounts as online banking has spiked in popularity in recent years, especially since more financial institutions offer the service for free. Banks are particularly targeted many times, which not only leads to identity theft but also customer service telephone lines.
Banks are facing a huge problem. It’s something that should have been anticipated by the them, noted Thomas Miller, a security specialist.