Hackers linked to the Qatar National Bank (QNB) breach have leaked data siphoned from the UAE’s InvestBank.
A database containing credit card details and passport scans has leaked online by the same Turkish hacker crew – Bozkurt Hackers – who were also blamed for the QNB breach.
However, early reports suggest that the latest leak is, for the large part, the same data stolen by hackers late last year.
The reason for the re-release is not immediately clear but may involve an attempt to damage the reputation of the Gulf state bank.
For the record, the leaked 10GB in 13,000 files purports to hold sensitive financial data compromised from the bank, including spreadsheets, PDF files and images stolen from an internal database, and more. One document contains nearly 20,000 card numbers and another contains 3,000+ individual bank statements. A “passports” folder includes scanned insurance cards, passports and ID cards.
Last December, a similar dataset was posted online after the bank refused to meet extortion demands of a hacker using the nom de guerre “Buba”. Much of the data from the leak also appears to be from 2015 or before.
Gord Boyce, chief exec at file security firm FinalCode, commented: “While it is possibly the same group [is] behind both the Qatar National Bank and InvestBank UAE data leaks, it would appear that the objective is to cause reputational damage.”
“Whether the criminals plan to use the customer and employee credit card, bank statement, passport, ID and insurance card details they leaked for fraud or not, the fact that this sensitive information is now available online is disturbing,” he added.
The compromised data (fresh or not) can be abused by hackers to put together more sophisticated scams. The QNB and UAE’s InvestBank leaks might easily be repeated elsewhere, something that ought to prompt banks to review their security procedures.
“Financial services firms, like in other regulated industries, need to expand their data defence portfolios beyond that of thwarting hackers and insider threats to securing files that may be exposed due to inadvertent emails, lost portable storage devices or unauthorised sharing,” Boyce (whose firm makes file encryption and content management products) advises. ®