Sierra Leone Commercial Bank suffers a cyberattack – web defacement.

We recently reported on Iranian hackers attacks a US Government website, shortly after the killing of Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, in supposed retaliation. More information can be found here.

The hacker, H4ck3D, behind this US government website attack also has claimed to deface the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, one the main financial institutions in the country, where the website was offline for several days on the 5th January. A message from the hackers left on the website read, “in the name of God. Hacked by Iran Cyber Security Group HackerS”. The bank was website was inoperable for more than 48 hours.

Sierra Leone Commercial Bank has reported that none of the customers’ accounts or data were affected by the outage, and the bank is conducting forensic investigations. The bank management has published a response as follows,

“The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank Limited (SLCB) is aware that its official website was hacked in the early hours of this morning (Sunday, 5th January 2020) by a group claiming to be Shield Iran. Our website, slcb.com, is hosted externally by a service provider in the United States; and therefore, we believe this attack was carried out by hackers based in Iran, in retaliation to the killing of the Iranian Military General, Qassem Soleimani”

Although this back did not suffer a network breach, the bank’s main channel was offline causing revenue and reputational losses.

iZOOlogic provides solutions to many leading institutions across the Middle East. We are placing this public Threat Advisories to all financial institutions to remain extra vigilant during these times and to closely monitor public facing web applications for vulnerabilities and threats.

It is critical that leading institutions have robust measures in place to combat such attacks that leverage the political climate. Review the number of web defacements that have occurred over the past 12 months, we observe that this is a growing area for nefarious activity against banks.

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