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Check Point mum on alleged Sudan bank hack
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 03:03:16 -0500 (CDT)
By Ned Stafford, Newsbytes.
October 03, 2001
Israeli information technology security firm Check Point says a
German's claim that he hacked into a Sudan bank with possible links to
Osama bin Laden "cannot be substantiated."
The claims were made last week by hacker-turned-terrorism-opponent Kim
Schmitz, who said his U.K.-based team of hackers had gained entry into
computers installed with Check Point FireWall-1 software at the
AlShamal Islamic Bank in Sudan. Schmitz said the hackers collected
data on the accounts of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization and on Bin
Laden, and that the information was turned over to the FBI.
Bin Laden, a millionaire Saudi exile based in Afghanistan, is
suspected of being the driving force behind the deadly Sept. 11
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. According to CNN,
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., last week referred to a 1996 State
Department report that said Bin Laden provided the AlShamal Islamic
Bank with $50 million in start-up capital.
A spokeswoman from Check Point Software Technologies, a Nasdaq-listed
company based in Ramat-Gan, Israel, says the company does not believe
the hacking occurred.
Elena Annuzzi, at Check Point's U.S. headquarters in Redwood City ,
Calif., said in an e-mail to Newsbytes: "We would have to say that the
details about penetrating a Check Point FireWall-1 installation are
not substantiated, and we believe the account to be inaccurate."
She added: "There are no open vulnerabilities that would allow a
hacker to penetrate FireWall-1."
Asked specifically to comment on the timeframe that AlShamal Islamic
Bank began using Check Point FireWall-1, she replied: "It's not
appropriate for us to comment on any of our customer's
An FBI spokesman in Washington declined to comment on Schmitz's story,
saying that the agency's policy is not to comment on information and
leads it is receiving concerning the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Attempts to contact the AlShamal Islamic Bank using telephone numbers
listed on the bank's Web site were unsuccessful. Phone calls either
were unanswered or were greeted with a recorded Message. Three
attempts were made to contact the bank by e-mail, using the address
listed on the Web site, bank () shamalbank com, also were unsuccessful.
Each e-mail was returned as non-deliverable.
Schmitz, asked about CheckPoint's assertion that his claim is
"inaccurate," says he stands by his story.
Schmitz, 27, is a former teen hacking prodigy who spent time behind
bars before starting a successful data security business. He later
sold 80 percent of that firm, Data Protect, for a small fortune. Since
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he has become an outspoken opponent of
totice on his personal Web site offering a $10 million reward for the
capture of bin Laden.
Schmitz lives in Munich. He founded a group of about two dozen hackers
after the Sept. 11 attack called "Young Intelligent Hackers Against
Terror," which has the acronym YIHAT, similar to the word Jihad, an
Arabic term that describes holy war. He claims that some U.K.-based
members of this group hacked the AlShamal Islamic Bank, and that they
wish to remain anonymous.
He insists that his anti-terrorism pronouncements are not a public
relations prank, but stem from his desire to wipe out terrorism. He
says he has received death threats from the Middle East.
Schmitz said that while he was still at his former company, Data
Protect, he had a "hate and love relationship" with Check Point.
Check Point Software Technologies Home Page:
AlShamal Islamic Bank Home Page: http://www.shamalbank.com/
Schmitz Reward For Osama Bin Laden:
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- Check Point mum on alleged Sudan bank hack InfoSec News (Oct 04)