The hack of Qatar National Bank (QNB) data has exposed files relating to the country’s secret service, security apparatus and members of the ruling al-Thani family. The leaked data also revealed the details of scores of journalists working for broadcaster Al Jazeera, with many of them labelled as “spies.”
The 1.4GB leak was posted to Global-Files.net. According to Doha News, the identity of the hackers is yet to be established. The leaked folders are named ‘Al -Jazeera’, Al Thani, Defence , SPY, Intelligence, and ‘Mukhabarat’ which is Qatar’s intelligence agency, reports Middle East Eye.
Curiously, the Al-Jazeera files contain a number of entries labelled ‘SPY’ with images of persons and their social media accounts, banking data and passwords.
Collectively the leaked information pertained to more than 1,200 people and organisations including names, passwords and credit card numbers.
Al-Jazeera Journalist Gordon Hickey said he was surprised when a friend messaged him that his Qatari bank account and passwords are now publicly available under the “SPY” folder.
“He was kind of joking, but he did ask whether I was a spy,” Hickey said added that the label “spy” can have bad implications for him especially when travelling and it is not a “nice thing.”
However, QNB refused to admit any leak had occurred and said it is looking into such claims.
“QNB Group places the highest priority on data security and deploying the strongest measures possible to ensure the integrity of our customers’ information,” the statement read.
“The alleged banking leak also openly lists a folder marked Al Jazeera that stores nearly 30 separate profiles alongside a Microsoft Excel file that holds more than 1,200 records – including national ID numbers, telephone numbers, and home addresses,” Murdock added.
QNB is one of the largest banks in the Middle East, and its first-quarter results in April had seven percent surge in profits. The impressive $800 million in profits came despite the low global oil prices.