The Bank of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates was recently hacked and the hacker, who calls himself Hacker Buba is reportedly threatening to make public confidential information including account statements of the bank’s customers if he does not receive a three million dollar bitcoin ransom by the end of the weekend. This is not an idle threat as the hacker has already released account statements of more than five hundred of the bank’s customers. Officially, the bank’s chief financial and operating officer has admitted that the bank has been hacked and is being blackmailed, however, the bank has indicated that it will not give in to extortion and is refusing to pay the ransom.
Cybercriminals are more and more turning to extortion against banks, lawfirms and other companies by which the cybercriminals threaten to either publicly release privileged data or encrypt and destroy the data of the targeted company. In many instances, companies have not made public that they have been the victims of such cyber extortion. As I constantly remind you, your data is only as secure as the companies with which you do business with the weakest security. Choosing companies to do business with that have strong cybersecurity standards is something we all should consider.