Saudi denies bank info breach by Israeli hackers (updated)

Tarek El-Tablawy reports:

A top Saudi banking official on Tuesday denied an Israeli media report that hackers from Israel obtained credit card and bank account details of thousands of Saudi citizens, retaliating for an attack on Israeli accounts.

Talaat Hafez, secretary-general of the media office in the kingdom’s banking authority, denied a report by the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot that Israeli hackers were threatening to release the financial information they obtained if hackers continue to publish Israeli credit details on line.

Hafez was quoted by the Saudi online newspaper as saying that Saudi bank customers’ financial information was safe and there was “no need for customers to be concerned” because Saudi banks’ information networks were very secure.

Read more on the San Francisco Examiner.

Didn’t the Israeli hackers say they accessed credit card numbers of shoppers? I saw no claim that they hacked any banks. The banks are denying that they were hacked, but that wasn’t the claim as far as I know. Do the banks in Saudi Arabia control the merchants’ networks’ security? Very confusing refutation….

Update: I just saw posts on Pastebin with what appear to be data dumps with 217 names, e-mail addresses, full credit card numbers, and expiry dates from Saudi citizens. All of the expiration dates are in the format mm/dd and are labeled with “expired,” so these may be old data (although a new hack), although I suspect the field should just read “expires” or “expiration date.” The dump was made by someone calling himself “0xOmer,” in response to the hack of Israeli sites by 0xOmar.

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