A group of hackers who claimed to be Saudis recently posted the credit card information of thousands of Israeli citizens on the internet, according to credit card companies involved in the incident.
This hacking, on the surface, appeared to be politically motivated. But some experts are questioning whether or not this crime was actually committed by Saudis.
The hackers identified themselves as Group-XP, and called the attack a “gift to the world for the new year” that they hope “would hurt the Zionist pocket.” The online terrorists claim to have given out more than 400,000 credit card holders information, but Israel’s central bank reports that only 15,000 active cards were affected.
“Group-XP is a known Saudi hacking group that seeks to propagate Wahhabism,” said Gadi Aviran of Terrogence Ltd, an Israeli web intelligence company to Associated Press. Wahhabism is the strict form of Islam commonly practiced in Saudi Arabia.
“The fact that hackers offered the credit card details for free and admitted to using the cards in order to expand their activity and cause more damage to Israelis in the future shows that they were not motivated by criminal intent of greed,” he added. “This event is less cyber warfare than cyber terrorism.”
The chances of actually indentifying the hackers as Saudi’s are slim to none, according to cyber expert Gadi Evron.
Evron, who once oversaw security for the Israeli government Internet provider, told the Associated Press that the attack was “nothing special” and this is something that happens frequently. He also stated that an attack such as this one could have been much worse.
According to Ynet, the credit card information was posted on an Israeli sports website and taken down shortly after. The credit card companies blocked the Internet purchases using the cards and will issue replacements to the owners soon.