Israeli hackers downed the website administered by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates on Thursday as the financial institution hosted European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.
The attack was apparently conducted by a group calling itself “IDF Team,” which also claimed responsibility for knocking the Arab Bank offline on Thursday.
UAE Central Bank officials downplayed the incident, emphasizing that talks with the European delegation remained the top priority of the day.
“We have been busy here,” Sultan bin Nasser al-Suwaidi, governor of the UAE Central Bank told the Financial Times. “There are IT technicians who will take care of it.”
Meanwhile, a second Israeli hacker group known as “Nuclear” posted details of 4,800 credit cards extracted from various accounts held in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday evening. Information included card numbers, passwords, security codes, code types and expiration dates.
The Saudi credit card data was leaked online just one day after Israeli hackers downed the websites of both the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). However, Saudi officials denied that Tadawul experienced downtime, stating that “sophisticated security protection” had been enforced.
The “IDF Team” operation against Tadawul and ADX was reportedly conducted in retaliation for the hacking of two prominent Israeli sites on Monday: the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and El Al (Israel Airlines).
It should be noted that various forms of cyber warfare have been waged by civilians in the Middle East for a number of years – and can be traced back to the early days of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) when rival parties battled each other with channel takeovers, scripts, automated bots and flooding attacks.