Israeli Banks Receive Ransom Letters from Hackers

In the past several days, hackers sent fierce ransom letters to three banks in Israel. In the letters, the hackers threaten to turn over the personal details of the banks’ customers into hostile hands, unless the banks pay 30 Bitcoins (approx. 19,000 US Dollars) by the end of this week. The hackers claim to possess the personal details of over 3.7 million bank customers, allegedly obtained using a computer spy network based on “botnet”, which penetrated personal computers and extracted information, including remote login details for the bank accounts of the penetrated computers' owners.

The banks that were threatened - Discount Bank, The First International Bank of Israel, and Yahav Bank - were briefed in recent days by the Bank Supervisor at the Bank of Israel (Israel's central bank), who issued instructions to the entire banking system on how to deal with threats such as these. The Bank of Israel also instructed the banks to prepare for the possibility that the hackers would carry out their threats and transfer the customer information to unauthorized recipients. The Bank of Israel, as well as the three banks threatened, refused to comment on the report. Interestingly, David Brodet, the Chairman of Bank Leumi, one of Israel's largest commercial banks, revealed at a recent conference that cyber threats are the main cause of concern for banks. Source: Globes (In Hebrew, by Irit Avisar).