Iran Banks Burned, Then Customer Accounts Were Exposed Online

The details of millions of Iranian bank cards were published online after antigovernment protests last month. Experts suspect a state-sponsored cyberattack. From a report: After demonstrators in Iran set fire to hundreds of bank branches last month in antigovernment protests, the authorities dealt with another less visible banking threat that is only now coming to fuller light: a security breach that exposed the information of millions of Iranian customer accounts. As of Tuesday, details of 15 million bank debit cards in Iran had been published on social media in the aftermath of the protests, unnerving customers and forcing the government to acknowledge a problem. The exposure represented the most serious banking security breach in Iran, according to Iranian media and a law firm representing some of the victims.

The breach, which targeted customers of Iran’s three largest banks, was likely to further rattle an economy already reeling from the effects of American sanctions and came as Iran’s leadership was grappling with deep-seated anger over its deadly crackdown on the protests. The number of affected accounts represents close to a fifth of the country’s population. “This is the largest financial scam in Iran’s history,” reported Aftab News, a conservative media outlet. “Millions of Iranians are worried to find their names among the list of hacked accounts.”