The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allegedly fallen victim to a massive data breach. The Saudi Foreign Affairs data breach purportedly exposed the personal information of more than 1.4 million employees affiliated with the ministry.
In order to verify the claim of a data breach in Saudi Foreign Affairs, The Cyber Express reached out to the ministry via email for confirmation. At the time this report was written, the ministry had not yet provided an official response.
Details of the Saudi Foreign Affairs Data Breach
A threat intelligence and research agency posted a screenshot of a dark web leak on X. This screenshot shares the details of the employees’ data exposed from the Saudi Foreign Affairs data breach.
A threat actor named “zelda” who poses as an “Advanced User” of the platform joined the dark web leak forum in December 2023. Zelda posted the Saudi Foreign Affairs data breach on Tuesday, January 9 at 02:12 PM.
The data breach has been published in an uncompressed file of 600MB size. It contains records of ID, GUID, Arabic names, display names, full names, associated departments, titles, office telephone numbers, mobile phone numbers, emails, home phone numbers, job titles, and more information.
The Cyber Express team also attempted to access the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to verify its functionality and check for any discrepancies. Team investigation revealed that the website is fully operational, with no reported glitches.
Holy Makkah Municipality Data Breach
Recently, Arabian countries have experienced several cyberattacks and data breaches, leading to the exposure of confidential information belonging to their governments.
In another incident, claims regarding a data breach at the Holy Makkah Municipality have emerged. An individual operating under the alias ‘Hyeuene’ is reportedly offering the municipality’s data for sale on the dark web, with an asking price of $10,000.
The individual asserts possession of “fat government resource” obtained from the municipality, which allegedly includes Office365, AD (Active Directory) and VPN.
The TCE team is awaiting a response from officials to verify the Holy Makkah Municipality data breach allegations. Meanwhile, our check of their website revealed no irregularities, as it was operating normally.
This rise in cyberattacks against Arabian nations has been observed after the start of the Israel-Hamas war. Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, have refrained from supporting the Hamas armed group. Following this, these countries have become targets for hacking groups that advocate for the Palestinian cause.
However, this connection is speculative at the moment, as the hackers responsible for the recent incidents have not made any statements about such motivations on the dark web.
Often, these security incidents lead to the exposure of confidential information belonging to the governments and their officials. In light of this, it’s crucial for governments to prioritize and strengthen their cybersecurity measures to mitigate the risk of such events.
Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only, and users bear full responsibility for their reliance on it. The Cyber Express assumes no liability for the accuracy or consequences of using this information.