Israeli hackers who spoke to Ynet claimed on Monday that they have managed to lay their hands on the details of thousands of credit cards used on Saudi shopping websites. Ynet has confirmed the hackers' reports. "If the leaks continue, we will cause severe damage to the privacy of Saudi citizens," one of the Israeli hackers threatened.
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The Israeli hackers' activities have yielded, according to the hackers, "thousands of lists that include the personal details of citizens in the Arab state as well as the credit card details of those citizens. At the moment, we're holding on to the information and waiting for the right moment to publish it," they stressed.
Will Saudis soon be facing credit card leak?
Ynet has looked into the details and can confirm that at least some of the names on the list are real and match the rest of the details presented in the hackers' list. Most of the identities matched the information in the file, their Facebook and email accounts as well as their telephone numbers. The people listed were mostly Saudi citizens.
Speaking to Ynet, Mohammad, a Saudi resident, confirmed the details and tried to find out how his telephone number and information was discovered. "That is my name and those are my personal details, but I don't know anything about a credit card leak, no one told me anything," he said before hanging up.
One hacker who spoke to Ynet said: "We could not stay silent after the pompous boasting of the Saudi hacker." He added that "a few Israeli hackers came together and decided on various responses for each cyber activity that would be carried out against Israel, including responses beyond the cyber world."
The Facebook page of one of the Saudis exposed by Israeli hackers
When asked what he meant he explained that "the response we decided upon after group consultations includes scenarios where Israel is attacked outside of the cyber world." For example, he explained that "if a terror attack were to take place, we will make every effort to publish the terrorist's personal details and those of his family."
He stressed that "sadly, the State of Israel does not support an offensive policy so we are forced to maintain a great deal of secrecy; if we are caught we're facing a harsh punishment."
Meanwhile, the Saudi hacker has failed to impress Israelis. "Any hacker can see tat this isn't the most talented person and that everything he did demanded very little knowledge and that it can be carried out through pre-arranged programs without any problems."
The Israeli hacker added that they were "working on exposing his true identity, but it isn't our main priority."
Computer aficionados have said that the major leak was a "major failure" and stressed that it was not difficult to carry out and lacked technological sophistication."
The Knesset's Economics Committee discussed Monday the recent credit card scandal. Representatives from Israeli credit card companies, the Bank of Israel, the National Security Council, Justice Ministry and National Cyber Headquarters all participated in the meeting.
While the credit card companies' representatives stressed their ability to track down irregular financial activities, an expert warned "the damage caused from this monumental affair of identity theft is much greater than it appears."
"We have very high technological abilities," a representative of the credit companies stressed. "Even in this particular affair, our ability to block the cards and immediately stop any sort of damage was very high. We did it immediately – in the first incident within less than an hour and during the second event within less than ten minutes."
"This is a huge event in Israeli terms and a small one on a global scale. People like Omar, so-called-Omar, appear every so often. This was an attempt to embarrass the State of Israel. If he wished to cause financial damage he would have kept the lists to himself and not have published them," they added.
According to Dr. Nimrod Kozlovski, a researcher in the field of internet and information law and information security, "the damage is great, tens times greater than what's said here. Even if the credit card companies operated in a perfect manner, this event will remain with many Israelis for a long time, because they can be impersonated and therefore be classified as problematic online."
Moran Azulay, Roi Kais contributed to the report
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