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Mon 9 May 2016 01:52 PM

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'QNB hackers' behind data breach at Sharjah bank

Files containing data on thousands of Investbank UAE customers said to appear online

'QNB hackers' behind data breach at Sharjah bank

Hackers have leaked files online believed to contain data on thousands of customers of Sharjah-based Investbank UAE.

The files are understood to have been stolen last December, when it was reported that Investbank had been hacked and an individual had tried to blackmail the bank for $3 million.

When the bank refused to pay, it was said that the hacker threatened to dump the stolen files online, yet they never appeared.

However, IBTimes UK this week reported that a 10 gigabyte (GB) file had been published online purporting to hold sensitive financial data from Investbank.

IBTimes UK said it was in the process of verifying the contents of the dataset.

Meanwhile, another technology news outlet, Softpedia, claims to have downloaded and analysed the files, and reported that the data dump holds almost 13,000 files totalling 9.4 GB.

Inside these were details on some of the bank’s 2014 investors, 129 ID scans, documents related to land deals, 170 passport scans, and contact details for 522 bank employees in various countries, Softmedia reported.

As well as folders that contain the actual data, the hacker included screenshots purporting to show him navigating through the bank’s customer database.

It added that the hacker group is Bozkurtlar (translated as ‘the Grey Wolves’), the same group that claimed responsibility for the Qatar National Bank data breach two weeks ago.

Investbank UAE has yet to issue a formal response to news of the data leak. Arabian Business has contacted Investbank UAE for comment but had yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.

Experts reportedly warned last week that the QNB hackers would “strike again”. Mohammad Amin Hasbini, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab Middle East, Turkey and Africa, was quoted as telling local media last Tuesday: “The attackers have announced that they are going to release data from a second attack. This data could be used for ransom.

“They have said they are going to make it public in the next few days We are monitoring it."

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