An Israeli hacker has claimed retaliation for the release of the personal information and credit card data of tens of thousands of Israelis by a Saudi hacker, posting similar information about hundreds of Saudis late Tuesday night.
A Saudi banking official initially denied the claims, saying that Saudis had nothing to worry about, but citizens soon confirmed that their personal information had been compromised.
The Israeli hacker exposed names, e-mail addresses, telephone and cell phone numbers, and credit card numbers of Saudis as well as several Syrians, Egyptians and others. He said he also had obtained the most sensitive credit card information of the people he exposed, but said he was withholding it, intending his move merely as a warning.
“I have nothing personal against these people,” the hacker told an Israeli reporter. “My sole intention is to create a deterrent.”
Earlier, IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee that cyber warfare posed a serious threat to the country, but that Israel was prepared to respond.
The Saudi hacker ignited this latest round of an ongoing Arab-Israeli hacking war by offering up “a gift to the world” of what he claimed was the personal information of nearly half a million Israelis. In truth, between 15,000 and 20,000 Israelis’ information had been compromised.
Israeli credit companies said afterward that they were able to block access to the accounts almost immediately and that, while the attack was large by Israeli standards, it was small by global standards.