A sinister cyber criminal has hacked into a Sharjah bank and is now holding it to ransom by leaking confidential data of clients on social networking and microblogging site Twitter every few hours, XPRESS can reveal.
The criminal who goes by the moniker Hacker Buba and uses a stolen picture of a bank staff says he will not stop until the bank pays him an undisclosed amount of ransom money in the digital currency Bitcoin (explained below) by this weekend.
True to his word, he has been posting the account statements of government entities and scores of UAE firms and individuals daily since November 18.
The bank admitted the cyber attack and confirmed they have been sent a ransom note.
“Yes, there was a data breach and we have been contacted by Hacker Buba. He is asking for money but I cannot reveal how much. This is blackmail. We have reported the matter to UAE Central Bank. The Telecom Regulatory Authority’s (TRA) Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) is investigating,” the bank’s chief financial and operating officer told XPRESS.
“We won’t give in to any extortion threat. In any case there has been no financial loss. All what this man has is some customer information and he’s trying to use it as a bargaining chip,” he added.
However, customers affected by the breach, possibly the worst in UAE’s history are horrified and angry. “This is far more serious than what it’s made out to appear. I feel naked as my entire company stands exposed. Our financial transactions, client details, everything is on a public platform,” said the finance officer of an investment firm in Dubai.
The owner of an Abu Dhabi based contracting company said the damage to his business was ‘irreversible’ while the director of a Sharjah-based food industries firm blamed the bank for lax cyber security.