- Title: Qatar accuses UAE-based hackers of fake news cyber attack
- Date: 20th July 2017
- Summary: DOHA, QATAR (JULY 20, 2017) (REUTERS) VIDEO PLAYING ON SCREEN IN NEWS CONFERENCE HALL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) QATAR'S ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION, CAPTAIN OTHMAN SALEH, SAYING: "At 12:00 the website was visited almost 45 times. Fifteen minutes later we found fabricated news had been posted on the website. The website was visited again 41 times within 15 minutes of the post, coming from one of the sanctioning countries. We noticed that the traffic was normal on the website, but there were people in one of the sanctioning countries who were continuously viewing and refreshing the website waiting for a new post to appear. After the fake news was published, at 12:00, the website crashed." AUDIENCE LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) QATAR'S DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY AFFAIRS, LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALI MOHAMMED AL-MOHANNADI, SAYING: "Cyber-crime is a reality now and it has three parts. The first part is the cyber-crime itself, by controlling the networks and planting worms inside them. The second part is spreading false news about His Highness, the country's Prince. The third part, and most importantly, are those who benefited from everything aforementioned and who benefited from spreading the news, and in my own opinion is the one behind those who placed the fake news. I cannot deny it in front of you, the two websites were identified in the United Arab Emirates." AUDIENCE LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) QATAR'S ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION, CAPTAIN OTHMAN SALEH, SAYING: "I can tell you right now that the hacking was done at a very professional level and the hackers are extremely skilled, they must be supported by a state or a number of states." AUDIENCE LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) QATAR'S DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY AFFAIRS, LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALI MOHAMMED AL-MOHANNADI, SAYING: "Revealing those who were browsing is an easy process. I can find out who was browsing from the IP address, that shows they were browsing from. It's easy for us to say that it was from the UAE because the two websites are inside the UAE. I do not mention names but the websites were inside the UAE." AUDIENCE LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) QATAR'S ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION, CAPTAIN OTHMAN SALEH, SAYING: "The lessons learnt from this attack are that we raised the security levels and reviewed our current security levels on the Qatari News Agency, and informed other state institutions to take more precautions." AUDIENCE LISTENING
- Embargoed: 3rd August 2017 20:19
- Location: DOHA, QATAR
- City: DOHA, QATAR
- Country: Qatar
- Reuters ID: LVA0016QIX8P3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Qatar said on Thursday (July 20) that it had proof the United Arab Emirates carried out a hack on its state news agency in late May which helped spark a diplomatic rift between Doha and its neighbours, confirming a recent report from U.S. officials.
Two officials from Qatar's Ministry of Interior described irregular activity found on the Qatar News Agency's (QNA's) website, which was traced back to websites inside the UAE's borders. The UAE has denied the allegations.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have cut off diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of financing Islamist militant groups, allegations Qatar denies.
Qatar has since sought to prove its innocence ahead of a report published by the Washington Post claiming that the FBI revealed that QNA website had been hacked in May. The U.S. newspaper cited unidentified U.S. intelligence officials as saying they had learned last week of newly analysed information showing that top UAE officials had discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.
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