Standard Bank confirms there is no ‘breach of system’

Customers queue to draw money from an ATM outside a branch of South Africa's Standard Bank in Cape Town. Photo: Reuters

Customers queue to draw money from an ATM outside a branch of South Africa's Standard Bank in Cape Town. Photo: Reuters

Published Jul 2, 2024


Standard Bank said on Tuesday that “there has been no breach of its system”, though it apologised to customers for delayed responses when calling their call centre following multiple claims from customers about a security breach at the bank.

This was after some customers claimed on the X social media platform that there had been an alleged “massive security breach”, with some clients reporting fraudulent transactions or money missing from their accounts.

The bank said the delay in the responses when calling their call centre was due to a spike in month-end transactions.

“The bank has multiple security and authentication layers that it has made available to its customers. Customers can also utilise the App or internet banking to report fraud or manage their cards or card payments,” it said in response to questions about the social media comments by Business Report.

Among those who complained on X were:

Sue le Roux (@Snowy_Owlet), who wrote: “Hey @StandardbankZA your online support sucks. Money stolen from my daughter’s account last night after your data breach. Impossible to contact you… And zero sympathy or assistance in your branch this morning.”

Ayanda (@ayandamthethwa_) wrote: “A warning to anyone that banks with Standard Bank: Check your accounts. There’s a massive security breach with that bank & they are going about their day as if nothing happened. Several fraudulent transactions were attempted on my account last night. 3k gone with no explanation.”

South Africa Is A Movie (@Phuza_7) wrote: “They won’t tell you this, but Standard Bank got hacked last night/yesterday. Their Clearwater branch is full of customers trying to get their cards blocked.”

Raees Jacobs (@Raees_Jacobs) wrote on X: “Roughly R10K gone out of my wife’s account due to fraudulent transactions. Seems like your firewalls were demolished.”

Gerda Steyn (@gerdarun), a long-distance athlete wrote: “Trying to report fraud but nobody picking up the phone… Been on hold for over an hour already!!”

Lindokuhle (@lindokuhle_Vee) wrote on X: Standardbank has failed me. R10K gone out of my account due to fraudulent transactions. Debit orders are bouncing. I’ll never trust @StandarBankZA with my information.

Standard Bank gave some tips and best practices to prevent fraud, which is on the rise in South Africa.

1. Password Best Practices:

∎ Use strong passwords for all your online accounts.

∎ Consider using a password manager to securely store and manage your passwords.

2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Biometrics:

∎ Enable MFA wherever possible to add an extra layer of security.

∎ Biometric authentication (such as fingerprint or facial recognition) enhances account protection.

3. Combat Social Engineering:

∎ Be cautious of unsolicited calls, emails or messages asking for personal information.

∎ Verify the legitimacy of requests before sharing sensitive data.

4. Contactless Payment Methods:

∎ Use contactless cards or mobile wallets for secure transactions.

5. Precautions with Public Wi-Fi:

∎ Avoid conducting sensitive transactions over public Wi-Fi networks.