UAE behind Qatar media hacking

UAE behind Qatar media hacking

UAE behind Qatar media hacking

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site in May, planting a false story that was used as a pretext for the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries, according to a Sunday report by The Washington Post.

The Post reported that U.S. intelligence officials learned last week of newly analysed information that showed that senior UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said on Monday that the report was "not true, purely not true".

The Guardian reported last month that an investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had concluded that freelance Russian hackers were responsible.

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The UAE has denied that it was responsible for an alleged hacking of the Qatari state news agency and websites earlier this year.

The UAE has denied involvement, calling the Post report "false" and insisting that the UAE "had no role whatsoever" in the alleged hacking.

The statement went on to say that the Washington Post report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place".

The statement cited the government's communications director, Sheikh Saif bin Ahmad al-Thani, as saying it was "especially unfortunate that this shameful act of cyber terrorism is being attributed to a fellow member of the Gulf Cooperation Council". "We will bring forth and drive home many facts and proof points that have not been known to the public opinion and global community before about the Qatar nurturing and sheltering of terrorist elements".

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The FBI, CIA as well as Britain's NCA, all of whom have been working with Qatar to investigate the QNA hack, are yet to comment on the matter.

He called for a "change of behavior" from Qatar, adding that without one, it would be in the interests of the quartet - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt - to seek "a separate path from that of Qatar". Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi [the former Libyan leader].

Gargash also stated that the Arab states need to be convinced that Qatar is no longer a sponsor of terrorism.

The demands include Qatar curtailing its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, shutting down the pan-Arab satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base and downgrading relations with Iran. They presented Qatar with a list of 13 wide-ranging demands and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face unspecified consequences.

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