Iran Banks Burned, Then Customer Accounts Were Exposed Online
Last month as anti-government protests raged throughout Iran, authorities addressed the destruction of numerous banks across the country. However, a new threat has been introduced, a security breach exposed the information of millions of Iranian customer accounts. On Tuesday, the details of 15 million bank debit cards were posted on social media. This breach represented the most serious banking security breach in Iran to date and caused widespread backlash from customers and Iranian citizens alike. The breach targeted three of Iran’s largest banks, Mellat, Tejarat, and Sarmayeh, and is likely to further unsettle the already unstable economy.
The breach, which affects about one-fifth of Iran’s population, was described by the Iranian government as data theft perpetrated by a “disgruntled contractor” who exposed the accounts as an extortion attempt. However, cybersecurity experts refute this claim, stating that a breach of such magnitude was more likely the work of an entity aiming to create instability within Iran rather than a group of criminals searching for financial gain. The breach’s effects not only have the ability to drastically worsen the economy but also threaten to prolong protests within Iran.