At a time when credit card fraud and online hacking scams are becoming increasingly common, Israel has become the latest victim. On Saturday, January 7, the country announced that the details of thousands of credit cards had been publicised online.
The exact details and figures of the attack vary according to sources; whilst the credit card companies say the details of around 25,000 cards (of which over 6,000 were current) had been exposed, the government says as many as 400,000 Israeli people have had their private information compromised. Israel is not used to attacks of this nature, and it is believed that this is the worst of its kind the country has seen. This kind of attack is not uncommon, a large cybercrime wave has recently swept across China, as reported on Tero Pollanen’s Online Fraud blog reports.
The hacker claiming responsibility, OxOmar, said he lives in Saudi Arabia. After initial investigations, there is apparently some evidence that it is infact a teenager living in Mexico. As yet, it is not thought that help from Mexican authorities has been sought.
Israel, clearly riled, has hit back strongly, "vowing to retaliate" according to the BBC. Speaking of such kind of attacks, Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister, said they are "a breach of sovereignty comparable to a terrorist operation, and must be treated as such. Israel has active capabilities for striking at those who are trying to harm it, and no agency or hacker will be immune from retaliatory action".