Hackers hit Hezbollah lender Qard al-Hasan, leak accounts data

Hackers hit Hezbollah lender Qard al-Hasan, leak accounts data
2 min read
29 December, 2020
The Hezbollah-affiliated financial foundation was hacked by a group that has published what it claims to be leaked databases of lenders and borrowers.
The hackers said they will release further information at a later time. [Getty]
A group of cyber-hackers have infiltrated Hezbollah's Al-Qard al-Hasan financial foundation and leaked the accounts of lenders and borrowers.

The hackers, called SPIDERZ, posted an anonymous-style video claiming to have broken into accounts of depositors and clients who have taken out loans from the Hezbollah-affiliated "illegal bank".

The group said it will release further information at a later time, without disclosing the exact date of the planned leak.

Founded in 1983 and registered as by Lebanon's Interior Ministry as a non-governmental organisation in 1987, Al-Qard al-Hasan [the Benevolent Loan], conducts large-scale quasi-banking activity, providing interest-free loans to the Shia community using money from depositors.

According to local outlet The Daily Star, officials at Al-Qard Al-Hassan could not verify who was behind the hack or when it took place.

"Al-Qard Al-Hassan officials do not know exactly who was behind this cyber-attack but they are certain that most of the information they disclosed are not accurate," the source told The Daily Star.

However, a Hezbollah representative confirmed the breach in comments to UAE-headquartered The National.

The hackers released names of alleged banks and clients –some 200,000 borrowers and about 100,000 depositors, according to the group. The leaked lists also included account numbers, home addresses and phone numbers of clients.

Qard al-Hassan, already sanctioned by the US, is based in Beirut's southern suburbs – a stronghold of Hezbollah. The institution reportedly employs nearly 500 people and has around thirty branches across the country.

Last month, it made headlines after installing ATMs in areas controlled by Hezbollah, violating Lebanon's fiscal law and allowing recruits who earn monthly wages from the group to bypass the banking sector, which has imposed strict capital controls.

The hackers additionally urged clients to withdraw their money from the organisation to secure their savings.

Local media reports circulated a statement attributed to Al-Qard Al-Hassan Foundation refuting the claim. The statement said the breach was "limited" and claimed there war "no danger to the accounts of depositors and borrowers".

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