Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA, or BCI, and Banco Santander Chile were among the 18 or so Chilean banks impacted by a recent data breach in which information on about 14,000 credit cards was stolen and published on Twitter, according to local media reports.
Banking regulator SBIF was notified of the breach on July 25, although it said the majority of the affected cards were inactive. According to the watchdog, the leak is tied to a group of cybercriminals that call themselves the ShadowBrokers.
In an interview with Diario Financiero, BCI CEO Eugenio Von Chrismar said the bank responded by immediately blocking 270 active credit cards. The lender will continue to strengthen its controls and make investments in information security to mitigate cyberattack risks, the executive added.
Similarly, Santander Chile Executive Chairman Claudio Melandri told the publication that less than 300 of its active credit cards were impacted, all of which were blocked within five minutes of the leak. The bank did not find evidence of any suspicious transactions and issued new cards to affected clients.
Melandri believes the information was likely stolen from a web page where customers entered credit card details to make online purchases.
"Hacking a bank is not impossible, but it is very difficult," he was quoted as saying. "Hacking 18 banks on the same day, at the same time, is impossible."
Meanwhile, Chilean Finance Minister Felipe Larraín said the country's financial system and payment chains are not at risk following the incident, La Tercera reported. Based on the investigations that have been conducted so far, "there has been no fraudulent use of the [stolen] information," he said.