Online criminals hack local telecom operator

A three-member online criminal gang hacked into the account of a local telecom company and managed to make away with KD80,000.

The hacking reportedly took place when a local company was transferring money to the account of the telecom company. On receiving news of the incident, sleuths from the Cybercrime Department of the Criminal Investigation Department in coordination with Financial Crimes Investigation Unit swung into operation and tracked down the perpetrators — one Kuwaiti and two Egyptians — and arrested them before they could spend their stolen loot.

During interrogations, the men admitted to the crime and said they began the operations by breaking into the account of one of the telecommunications companies and robbed small amounts to pay for bills. They then hacked the company’s account and stole money exceeding KD120,000 over a period of time by changing the path of remittances to account numbers with the names of other individuals, and then re-transferred the money to the account of one member of the gang. 

The sources stressed that the arrest of the gang prevented the hacking operations from spreading to a number of other institutions and companies.

The sources said that the protection measures for electronic banking systems in Kuwait are among the best in place, noting that Kuwaiti banks allocate large amounts of money in order to ensure the highest degree of protection for their banks and hire experts from around the world to combat the latest types of piracy used by international fraudsters. 

The banks also regularly update their protection systems and apply the highest standards of protection available globally. For its part, the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) seeks to tackle banking piracy through various awareness programs and by issuing instructions to banks on the development of the latest banking protection methods.