Saudi hackers from the Group-XP collective said yesterday they had published the credit card details of 400,000 Israelis, Ynet News reported. Banks said many of the numbers posted online were not valid, but at least 15,000 cardholders are believed to have been affected.
According to Agence France Presse, a statement by "anonymous Saudi Arabian hackers" from Group-XP, the "largest Wahhabi hacker group of Saudi Arabia," appeared on Israeli sports website One.co.il yesterday, announcing that the customer databases of multiple Israeli sites had been hacked.
Visitors were then redirected to another page, where they were invited to download lists of thousands of names, addresses, credit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes. Cards used to make payments to "Judaism" websites or "Israeli Zionist Rabbis" were among those listed, Haaretz reported.
The hackers' statement described the attack as "a gift to the world for the new year" that they hoped "would hurt the Zionist pocket," according to Ynet:
"It will be so fun to see 400,000 Israelis stand in line outside banks and offices of credit card companies to complain that their cards had been stolen. To see banks shred 400,000 cards and reissue them. To see that Israeli cards are not accepted around the world, like the Nigerian cards," the hackers wrote.
Many of the entries on the list are repeated, while others are incorrect or out of date, Ynet said. The Bank of Israel estimated today that a total of 15,000 cardholders are believed to have been affected. Credit card companies have blocked the cards concerned and will refund stolen money, the Bank said.
The link has since been removed from One and the site is investigating how the breach occurred.
Group-XP has announced a goal of stealing the credit card details of one million Israelis, according to Haaretz. The group's statement described yesterday's leak as the "first part of our data about Israel."
According to the LA Times, "Israeli websites, including government ones, are frequent targets of hackers, mostly for political reasons." Earlier this week, it reported, the foreign ministry's websites were allegedly hacked, while in November the websites of the Mossad and Israel Defense Forces were inaccessible, though the problem was put down to a "server glitch."
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