FraudWatch International services many clients in the Middle East. Clients are talking about the latest hack of a UAE bank (not a client of FraudWatch International), in which the hacker is holding the bank to ransom of $3M by leaking confidential data of their customers on social media; predominately Twitter.

The hacker has told the bank he will not stop until the bank pays him $3M in the digital currency of bitcoin. He has been releasing bank statements since November 18.

This is causing a lot of grief to the bank’s customers, and obviously causing tremendous damage to the brand reputation of the bank. The hacker has claimed he has data from many banks from many countries in the GCC region.

Assuming the security breaches have already occurred and the hacker already has the data from many banks, there is nothing that can be done to prevent a similar situation occurring. The response to such a ransom attack would be reactive.

From the hacker’s MO, the bank will first receive the ransom communication prior to information being leaked.

FraudWatch International can assist to have Social Media accounts shut down if used in a ransom attack. The hackers’ first Twitter account remained active for a total of 5 days, once the account was shut down he immediately created a new account and will likely continue to do so to release bank’s customer information. Early reporting of these accounts is critical in minimizing the impact to clients.

The hacker may also choose to leak the data on other data sharing platforms. FraudWatch International can also assist to have this stolen data removed from the internet as quickly as possible in an effort to protect clients.

The story reported by Gulf News can be found here: