New leak suggests NSA penetrated Mideast banking networks

PARIS — A new set of documents purportedly lifted from the U.S. National Security Agency suggests that American spies have burrowed deep into the Middle East’s financial network, apparently compromising the Dubai office of the anti-money laundering and financial services firm EastNets.

TheShadowBrokers, which startled the security experts last year by releasing some of the NSA’s hacking tools, has resumed pouring secrets into the public domain, this time by publishing purported details of the NSA’s operations against banks across the Arab world. In a first for TheShadowBrokers, the data includes PowerPoint slides and purported target lists, suggesting that the group has access to a broader range of data than previously known.

“This is by far the most brutal dump,” said Comae Technologies founder Matt Suiche, who has closely followed the group’s disclosures and initially helped confirm its connection to the NSA last year. In a blog post , he said it appeared that thousands of employee accounts and machines from the EastNets’ offices had been compromised and that financial institutions in Kuwait, Bahrain and the Palestinian territories had been targeted for espionage.

Calls and messages left with EastNets’ offices in Dubai, London and New York were either not picked up or not immediately returned.

The authenticity of Friday’s document dump could not immediately be determined but the group’s previous releases have been corroborated by material leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and software patches issued by major U.S. technology firms .

The NSA did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

Because EastNets provides a host of Arab banks connectivity to the banking system’s electronic backbone, known as SWIFT, compromising the company would give the NSA the ability to silently track financial transactions across the Middle East, Suiche said in a phone call.

He said other documents in the release suggested an even wider effort to monitor the world’s transactions.

“I’ll bet it’s not the only SWIFT service bureau that’s been compromised,” he said.

Just Posted

Sunnybrook pies in demand

Just in time for Easter

AISH amendments not enough

AISH payments need to be increased

Rocky RCMP officer who fired a weapon at fleeing vehicle is under investigation

Driver “appeared unhurt” in incident on O’Chiese First Nation

Emotional impact of hurtful words explored in art exhibit

Self-worth is closely tied to physical image, says artist

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

21-year-old charged with drug trafficking in Rocky Mountain House

RCMP seized drugs after conducting a traffic stop and charged a 21-year-old… Continue reading

Liberal bill would tighten controls on sale, licensing of firearms

OTTAWA — Gun retailers would be required to keep records of firearms… Continue reading

Alberta factoring in Trans Mountain pipeline in budget forecasts

EDMONTON — Finance Minister Joe Ceci says Alberta will rely on anticipated… Continue reading

Pooches and pickup truck stolen in Edmonton found in Rimbey

Two old English bulldogs named Rocky and Jersey who were in a… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports wholesale sales up 0.1 per cent in January

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.1 per cent to… Continue reading

Right whale deaths cost Gulf snow crab fishery its designation as sustainable

HALIFAX — An international organization has suspended a sustainability certificate for the… Continue reading

Financial watchdog says controls to mitigate sales risk at banks ‘insufficient’

TORONTO — Canada’s financial consumer watchdog says there are “insufficient” controls in… Continue reading

Sheriff official: 3 injured in Maryland high school shooting

GREAT MILLS, Md. — A shooting at a Maryland high school Tuesday… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month