Saudi Banks Probe Hacked Credit Cards

Customers at some local banks have withdrawn their money and closed their accounts in the wake of reports that hackers have accessed some credit card accounts.


Banks have now employed teams of information technology experts to close the loopholes in their systems.

Dr. Ihsan Bou Haliga, well-known Saudi economic expert, was quoted by Al-Hayat Arabic daily as urging the authorities not to underestimate the threats made recently by Israeli hackers to disrupt various financial services companies in the Kingdom.

IT experts have confirmed that hackers are using fake copies of bank webpages to get access to customers’ passwords. They said only gullible people will fall prey to this ploy, but warned that hackers are highly intelligent.

The experts said that “certain browsers store your data, such as passwords and usernames. If you get infected with malware, the data on your PC will be recorded and sent to the hacker without you even knowing it. And sometimes you don’t even need to get to a virus; you just need to download some JavaScript from some page”.

“Apart from the code that the site requires, it will have some code that will allow the hacker to get access to your cookies, thus using them to transfer money, change a password and things like that.”

A source at a large Saudi bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al-Hayat that many customers have withdrawn their money and closed their accounts.

After a hacker, known as “Omar X”, accessed some accounts, the banks formed teams consisting of at least 15 employees each, to revise the credit statements of some customers.

Bou Haliga said there is no system that cannot be hacked. “I wonder how some people in the Kingdom can dare to say that our systems are inaccessible.”

He said even the American defense ministry was hacked recently. He welcomed the efforts banks were taking to tackle this threat.




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