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Over 2000 Saudi Government member’s private data have been traded on DarkNet

A hacker got access to classified data from the government of Saudi Arabia and put it up for sale for $68,000.

Published: August 16, 2021 By Darina Shramko

Saudi Arabia Government data have been hacked and sold on DarkNet

Recently, one unknown hacker took possession of the strategic data of Saudi Arabia:

  • confidential information about officials,
  • high-rank military,
  • Special Forces etc.

Immediately after the hack, the criminal shared his “successes” with like-minded people on one of the forums in DarkNet, offering to buy the “catch” for a certain amount.

We have looked at what exactly was stolen from the governmental database.

 

What has leaked?

An anonymous criminal claims that this hack is not the only one in his biography.

Announcement of the sale of the secret archives of the government of Saudi Arabia, which the hacker posted in one of the DarkNet forums

If you believe what he writes on the forum, he has already committed hacking of the Saudi Government data before!

The attacker claims to have gained access to strategically objects, namely:

  • Personal data of government officials,
  • Confidential data of Special Forces,
  • Dislocation of troops and data about hostilities.

The data that the hacker put up for sale

The hacker released the personal data of government representatives, their positions, the identification numbers of the Special Forces, and the location of the troops!

The hacker set a price of 1.5 BTC or $68,000 for secret archives.

Data Leakage Cost

The seller stated that this data set will be bought only once exclusively to one person.


How critical are the consequences of a government data breach?

It is difficult to say now what the reaction of the Saudi Government will be, but I don’t think that this criminal act itself will lead to military confrontation. The another think is data sold on forum, which can be used for advantage in crisis situation by interested side.

The disclosure of personal data of officials and military strategies is too much even for such hack sharks, which last month put up more than 14.5 million lines of US Green Cards for sale. Not every hacker will take the risk of hacking and putting up for sale the government's archives.

Likely, there will be cyber attacks on Saudi Arabia politically motivated by the Yemeni civil war. Obtained data can be a solid basis for developing further people targeted attacks using social engineering techniques.

Let me remind you that a year ago, the conflict could resolve, but the parties failed to reach a peace agreement. The Huthi rebels were in talks with Saudi Arabia, the main external sponsor of the UN-recognized Yemeni government, led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia also mediated between anti-Huthi factions. These two negotiating tracks could have saved the situation, but the conflict escalated even more.


How can I protect my data online?

Government data and military records aren’t the only targets of Internet scams.

Cisco experts concluded that the number of cyberattacks has increased:

  • back in 2019, they occurred every 14 seconds,
  • in 2021, their frequency increased to every 11 seconds.

Attackers are as interested in user data and social media as in government documents.

In this age of technology, it's essential to keep your online safety in mind, so here are some simple tips to help you fight cybercriminals:

  1. It doesn't matter if you use the Internet at work or home − always use anonymous browsers (like Tor) and private search engines. These browsers do not collect confidential information about you and track your location.
  2. I highly recommend using VPN services! Why? VPN − it's your indispensable assistant, which makes sure that your data remains safe and sound. VPN services don’t let unauthorized users in, check the traffic source, and make sure that the transmitted data does not leak out of the network in the clear. Turn on VPN whenever you plan to surf the Internet for a long time.
  3. Don’t disclose bank card details, addresses, phone numbers, and other confidential information on the Internet. A skilled fraudster can easily pretend to be a kind Internet interlocutor and tell a tearful story about how he needs money − so that the victim believes and makes financial assistance. In no case do not fall for provocations and remain vigilant!

Conclusion

The theft of Saudi Arabia's government data is a challenge that will not go unnoticed. But so far, it's difficult to predict what will be the consequences of such data breach.

I will monitor the situation and will inform you if new details of the incident appear.

See you on Internet!

Tags: 
Leaks
Author
Darina Shramko
Cybersecurity specialist and researcher.

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