Qatar has evidence 'blockading country' was behind government hack

Qatar has evidence 'blockading country' was behind government hack
Qatar's lead investigator has said the hack of the country's national news agency which led to a Gulf-wide crisis originated from a country blockading Doha.
2 min read
20 July, 2017
Qatar has evidence that the hack on the Qatar News Agency which led to a major Gulf-wide crisis came from IP addresses from "one of the four blockading Arab countries", the head of the country's official investigation team said on Thursday.

Qatari investigators found evidence of direct connections to electronic addresses of one of of parties in the Arab quartet blockading Doha - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt - the director of technology affairs at the National Command Centre said at a press conference in the capital.

Investigators found records that hackers first infiltrated the agency's network on 19 April - five days before fake quotes attributed to the emir of Qatar were released on its website.

"Qatar News Agency has suspended its CMS system and the National Command Center is combing through employees' e-mails," said Lt. Col. Ali Mohammed al-Muhannadi.

Translation: Details of how the Qatar News Agency's (QNA) website
was hacked on 24/5/2017 at 00:13 on Wednesday morning

According to Muhannadi, hackers first infiltrated the QNA network using VPN software on 19 May, before deploying a number of "malicious programs" on May 20.

The Government Communications Office said after the hack on 24 May it would "hold those found responsible to account".

The statement appears to confirm US media reports from earlier this week that the UAE was behind the hacking campaign.

Qatar has previously stated that its intelligence uncovered information that iPhones from countries blockading countries were involved in the false information campaign.

"Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack," Qatar's Attorney General Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri said in June.