Saudi banks have raised their alert level in fear of Israeli retaliation after the massive leak of credit card details by a hacker who claimed to be Saudi Arabian.
According to a report by al-Arabiya network, the move came following "the Israeli government's declaration that it sees the leaking of credit card details of its citizens as a violation of Israeli sovereignty, which is comparable to an act of terror that must be retaliated [against]".
Several Saudi-based banks urged their data protection departments to raise alertness levels ahead of a possible revenge attack on their systems. The banks boosted security and deterrence measures and increased monitoring of activity.
Uzi Landau of Israel's ministry of national infrastructures claimed that 0xOmar, the hacker who claimed to have stolen and published the details of up to 400,000 active Israeli credit cards, had done "a favour" to the government.
"He shed a light on an existing crack, and it's time the government define security regulations for online groups. The public must be protected and right now it's not," said Landau.
The development came after an Israeli shopping website was said to have detected the location of the hacker. It traced his IP address after the hacker broke into the site by exploiting a security loophole in its content managing system.
"He's located in Dubai. We have a lot of proof of it. We'll forward all proof to the police. They'll take care of him," the statement read.
0xOmar claimed last week to be a Saudi Arabian from the hacking group Anonymous. "Hi, it's OxOmar from group-xp, largest Wahhabi hacker group of Saudi Arabia," read a statement posted on an Israeli sports website. "We are anonymous Saudi Arabian hackers."
Links in the statement led to websites containing details of Israeli credit cards, as well as cards used to purchase merchandise from "Judaism" websites and those used to donate to "Israeli Zionist Rabbis".