QNA hack originated in nations blockading Qatar, says Attorney General

QNA hack originated in nations blockading Qatar, says Attorney General

QLReporter
By QLReporter

As Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue their two-week old blockade on Qatar, there are some new twists in the story.

The blockade was put in place soon after a fake news item appeared in Qatar News Agency (QNA), which the country later confirmed as a hacking job.

Now, it has emerged that some countries currently blockading Qatar may have had a bigger role to play in the hacking incident.

Malicious software deployed through iPhones with IP address originating in some of those countries blockading Qatar is behind the hack on QNA and its related social media accounts, said Qatar’s Attorney General HE Dr Ali bin Fetais Al Marri, reported Gulf Times.

The investigation and evidence collection on the case have been conducted by the Ministry of Interior's (MoI) Information Systems Department, which comes under the cyber crimes division, in co-operation with global entities from the UK and the FBI of the US, under the supervision of the Public Prosecution,” he told a Press conference.

“Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack,” The Peninsula quoted Dr Al Marri as saying.

Dr Al Marri recalled the hacking took place on the main website of QNA and some related social media accounts, in particular that of HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and false statements attributed to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs were published.

Dr Al Marri said it was too early to explicitly name the countries responsible for the hacking and declined to comment when he was asked if individuals or states were behind it, reported Reuters.

“Though investigations are still going on and evidences collected so far are confirmed, we want to reach the ultimate confirmation. These are complicated trans-regional cases that cannot be resolved without looking for the beneficiary from the crime. We’ve evidences that point to certain countries who have been contacted to see if they would respond to the request for co-operation. We’re still waiting for the response,” he said.

Meanwhile Mahjoob Zweiri, Associate Professor in contemporary history of the Middle East at Qatar University, said the Attorney General’s statement linked the embargo imposed on Qatar and the cyberattack.

“They’re saying that there was a sort of preparation for the embargo by the issue of hacking,” he told Al Jazeera.

Asked whether the list of ‘wanted persons involved in terrorism,as declared by the countries that have enforced the blockade on Qatar, he pointed out that such things should be governed by laws and UN Security Council regulations, rather than mood swings.

“Such lists should be based on legal texts about the targeted act, and include the specified crime with the set penalty and the related evidences, which do not apply to this list.”

By Molten Metal• 22 Jun 2017 13:40
Molten Metal

Mufti is perfectly right but Mods did not remove his comments ?

By Mufti Shahid• 21 Jun 2017 13:39
Mufti Shahid

Very unfortunate that some of the countries are conspiring to destabilize Qatar. Hope sanity prevails and blockade is lifted.

By emyzification• 21 Jun 2017 10:19
emyzification

PunchLiner : Unfortunately in this case, the key player could be UAE who had been a "good guy" to everyone.

The leaked emails of US envoy and the aggressive nature of them during this blockade leads to the conclusion. Saudi has been less cocky this time.

By PunchLiner• 21 Jun 2017 09:18
PunchLiner

There was never a doubt that Saudi puppets were behind the hacking.

The more this blockade continues, Qatar becomes ever more resilient.

Saudi puppets have failed in their objective.

#IA

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