United Arab Emirates bank hit with major data breach

A hacker has held files containing personal data from the United Arab Emirates bank for ransom.

The hacker, whose alias is “Hacker Buba”, allegedly demanded $3 million dollars in bitcoin to not release the information in their possession.  

The Sharjah bank refused to give in to the blackmail.

“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.”

Hacker Buba hacked the information from the bank on November 18th.  Since the bank refused to pay, he has begun dropping information online via his Twitter account.  Sensitive data being released includes full credit card data, and transaction histories of tens of thousands of customers thus far.  Twitter has suspended this account, but Hacker Buba has already opened new ones and is back up.  He has been contacting customers individually demanding payment from them, since their bank won’t pay the ransom.

XPRESS also reports that Hacker Buba attempted to bribe the editor of the Dubai-based website with a five percent cut in profits if he assisted. “I give u 5 % from total I get. Have many banks from UAE, Qater, ksa and etc. Will work together,” he sent them in a direct message on Twitter.

Many customers of the bank expressed their outrage at finding out about the data breach via the media as opposed to from the bank themselves.  

NewsBTC reports that the hacker’s whereabouts are unknown, but that his Twitter accounts point to Hungary.


For information on how you can prevent your organization from being breached, visit www.miltonsecurity.com or call 714-515-4011.

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