Data of millions of customers of ICICI Bank has been leaked recently. This includes financial data, personal documents and various other sensitive data. Earlier the data of HDFC Bank was leaked. In India, SBI, HDFC Bank & ICICI Bank are designated as D-SIBs i.e. Domestic Systemically Important Banks. This means that these 3 banks are the most important banks of India and they are so big that they can’t fail.
But this news of data leak in ICICI Bank puts a lot of questions in mind. Notably, the Indian government designated the ICICI Bank’s resources as “critical information infrastructure” in 2022, meaning any damage could affect national security.
During the inquiry, researchers learned that the bank’s systems were misconfigured, which allowed the bank to release important information. Although the infrastructure of the national bank was in a critical state, the protection of sensitive data was not guaranteed.
The research team uncovered misconfigured and publicly accessible cloud storage at Digital Ocean bucket – with over 3.6 million ICICI Bank files on February 1. The bank’s and its clients’ private information was revealed in files.
“Among the leaked data were bank account details, bank statements, credit card numbers, full names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, emails, personal identification documents, and employees’ and candidates’ CVs.”
Since financial services are the primary target for cybercriminals, the organization may have faced disastrous consequences and endangered its clients if bad actors had gained access to the disclosed data.
Additionally, files that included the clients’ passports, IDs, and Indian PANs (Indian taxpayer identity numbers) were kept in the bucket. Know-your-customer (KYC) forms and bank statements were also compromised.
The leak also harmed the bank’s employees, as CVs of existing employees and job candidates were found in the storage.
ICICI Bank’s Digital Ocean bucket’s access was wholly blocked on March 30. The report guarantees the problem was resolved once the leak was reported to the bank and the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN).
Estimated Severity of ICICI Leak
“The impact of the discovered ICICI leak is estimated to be severe, as the volume of personal data leakage is significant,” Cybernews researchers wrote. “Such sensitive information could undermine ICICI Bank’s reputation and may uncover details of the bank’s internal processes as well as jeopardize the safety and security of its clients, employees, and their data.”
Researchers claim threat actors could exploit exposed data to commit fraud and identity theft. The personal information and credentials acquired by fraudsters could be used to open accounts illegally in the names of individuals.
Employees, companies, and people whose data was exposed may be vulnerable to spear phishing attacks. Because criminals frequently target credit card information, bank account numbers, and logins to online banking platforms, the banking industry is particularly susceptible to phishing assaults.
Users receiving emails
In addition, numerous users tweeted that they received password reset request emails from ICICI.