By Claire Connelly-Adelaide now
DAHABSHIIL, the international funds transfer company based in the Middle East, says Anonymous was not responsible for the attack on its banking systems.
A group claiming to be Anonymous published thousands of account numbers, names and details online and threatened it would commit “global internet destruction” if Dahabshiil did not publicly confess to aiding terrorism.
The hackers claimed it had installed “cyber bombs” within financial institutions around the world and threatened to trigger them if the Dahabshiil did not confess within two months.
However, Dahabshiil told News.com.au: “Following our initial investigation into the cyber-attack, we now believe that earlier reports attributing the action to a particular protest group were inaccurate and exaggerated.”
It said it was not in a position yet to verify the identity of the individuals behind the hack.
“Naturally we will keep all customers fully updated.”
“Safeguarding our customers is of paramount importance to Dahabshiil and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that we identify those responsible.
Dahabshiil said that it “places the highest importance on its compliance procedures and has policies in place which are approved by the relevant authorities, including the FSA in the UK”.
The hackers claiming responsibility for the attack posted documents on Google Plus highlighting associations with other banking networks including Barclay’s in the UK and Ernst & Young in the US.
Passport pictures, banking transactions and other documents were also posted online.
The hackers posted a statement on tech blog, Slashdot, in which it declared an “official war on terror”.
The group said the bank had two months to come forward or expect a “global internet destruction”.
“if you want us to immediately stop this cyber-sabotage, it’s quite easy,” they wrote.
“We just ask you to stop lying, to recognise your help with Somaliaterror, and to officially change your behavior.
“We need a public message from you, as a proof.
“This is a call for actions of monitoring and/or destruction of companies and institutions that do work with terrorists, rogue countries, etc.”
The attackers said that WikiLeaks documents had revealed the Dahabshiil bank had provided direct financial support to al-Qaeda, Al Wafa and other terrorist organisations. It posted documents on Google plus that highlighted associations with other banking networks including Barclay’s in the UK and Ernst & Young in theUS.
They claimed to have stolen documents from and destroyed “work stations” in Australia, Kenya, USA, UK,Sweden, Somalia and Dubai. It also said it had hidden “cyber-bombs” in banking networks around the world and that it has attacked routers, firewalls and satellites that would protect banking systems from protecting financial networks.
The hackers signed off the statement with their slogan “we are Anonymous, we are legion”.
Dahabshiil initially condemned Anonymous for claiming to breach “the privacy of hardworking, responsible individuals”, and wholeheartedly denied the allegations.
“The claims from Anonymous that connections exist between our business and known terrorist organisations are quite simply wrong,” a spokesperson told News.com.au.
“We have never been the subject of any investigation in relation to alleged terrorist funding and we have no involvement whatsoever with money laundering or the funding of terrorist organisations.
“Consequently, we call on Anonymous to withdraw its untrue allegations immediately.
“Dahabshiil places the highest importance on its compliance procedures and has extensive anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing policies in place which are approved by the relevant regulators, including the FSA in the UK.
“All staff receive extensive and continuous training in this regard.
“We have started a thorough investigation of Anonymous’ attack and will keep all customers fully updated.
“Safeguarding our customers’ funds is of paramount importance to Dahabshiil. We will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities as we proceed.”