May 3, IDG News Service (International) Hackers blackmail Belgian bank with threats to publish customer data. Hackers claimed to breach the systems of the Belgian credit provider Elantis and threatened to publish confidential customer information if the bank did not pay $197,000 before May 4, according to a statement – 4 – posted to Pastebin May 1. Elantis confirmed the data breach May 3, but the bank said it would not give in to extortion threats. The hackers claimed to capture log-in credentials and tables with online loan applications that hold data such as full names, job descriptions, contact information, ID card numbers, and income figures. According to the hackers, the data was stored unprotected and unencrypted on the servers. To prove the hack, parts of what the hackers claimed to be captured customer data were published. The hackers contacted the bank via e-mail April 27, said a spokeswoman for Belfius Bank, Elantis’ parent company. “We assume they possibly captured the data of 3,700 customers,” she said, adding that the compromised data could belong to existing and potential customers. Elantis customers were informed of the data breach, according to the spokeswoman. After finding out what happened, the Elantis site was taken offline and the bank contacted the Belgian Federal High Tech Crime Unit, which is now investigating the case, she said. An unnamed specialized American security firm is also conducting an investigation, she added.