Data breach was attack on QNB’s reputation, not customers, says bank

Doha-based bank said details released contained a mixture of information from the attack as well as personal data from social media channels
Data breach was attack on QNB’s reputation, not customers, says bank
By Staff writer
Sun 01 May 2016 04:03 PM

QNB Group has said the recent data breach on its financial systems was an attack on the bank rather than the individuals who had their banking details posted online.

Files from QNB were posted online last week, revealing the names and passwords of a large number of customers. The 1.5gb trove of leaked documents included the bank details, telephone numbers and dates of birth of several journalists for satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera, supposed members of the ruling al-Thani family and government and defence officials.

In a statement issued today, QNB said its risk team alerted the “relevant authorities” once the abnormal activity was detected it its system environment.

“We also took immediate steps and our systems are fully secure and operational. The attack only targeted a portion of Qatar based customers,” QNB said.

“While some of the data recently released in the public domain may be accurate, much of it was constructed and contains a mixture of information from the attack as well as other non-QNB sources, such as personal data from social media channels. We believe the nature of this incident is fundamentally an attempted attack on QNB Group’s reputation and not specifically targeted at our customers.”

Similar to last week’s statement, the bank said “the incident will have no financial impact on QNB Group’s customers”.

“We are taking every measure to protect the privacy of our customers and have engaged an external third party expert to review all our systems to ensure no vulnerabilities exist,” it said.

“All our customers’ accounts are secure, and as always, we encourage customers to be vigilant, taking the usual precautions of frequently changing their usernames and passwords through QNB Group internet banking. Our call centre is also available 24/7 and any concerned customer can speak to a representative if they have any inquiries regarding their accounts.”

The statement that QNB regretted any inconvenience caused to its customers.

“We at QNB Group place the highest priority on data security and deploy the strongest measures possible to ensure we maintain your trust and the integrity of your information,” the bank said.

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