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Tue 3 May 2016 01:53 PM

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QNB hackers set 'to strike again', says Kaspersky Lab

Security analyst reportedly warns that hackers have data from another bank 'to leak in days'

QNB hackers set 'to strike again', says Kaspersky Lab

Hackers who broke into Qatar National Bank (QNB)’s systems and stole thousands of customers’ records have attacked a second bank and plan to leak more data, Gulf News reported.

Quoting a security analyst from Middle East software company Kaspersky Lab, the newspaper said the QNB hackers had data from another big bank dating back to 2001 and were planning to release this in the coming days.

Mohammad Amin Hasbini, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab Middle East, Turkey and Africa, was quoted as saying: "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."

Hasbini said the hackers
could have Turkish roots, could be linked to the complex geopolitical situation
in the region and are known as the Turkish Bozkurt Hackers.

They have uploaded a video online in which they claim responsibility for the QNB breach.

He was reportedly not certain as to the hackers’ motive but said it could be political.

The newspaper quoted Stephen Bailey, head of the cyber security team at PA Consulting’s technical security practice in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as saying the motive is likely to be financial.

“The motive of the QNB hacking can’t be pinpointed at this stage,” he said. “Although the bank has claimed it is an attack on its reputation, there could be a financial angle as these professional hackers are hired by someone with a motive, which could be from tarnishing someone’s reputation to making financial gains from personal data of customers.

“At this stage, it is difficult to believe anyone hacking into a bank’s data system just for defaming the institution.

Global losses from hacking and undesired spamming exceed $100 billion a year, according to Kaspersky Lab.

Files from QNB, reported to contain thousands of customers’ records, were allegedly uploaded to a file-sharing website last week before being later removed.

The files totalled 1.4GB of data, according to reports from Qatar, and included passwords, account numbers and credit card information.

QNB has announced in a statement that it is investigating the alleged data breach and sought to reassure customers there would be no financial impact for the bank or its clients.

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