False news from hacked Saudi newspaper creates havoc in Gulf region
June 9, 2016
Shah Sheikh (1294 articles)

False news from hacked Saudi newspaper creates havoc in Gulf region

False news about Saudi military operatins in Yemen has been creating tremors in the Middle East (ME) region.

Al-Watan, a major news paper in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was reportedly hacked by unknown foreigners. The hackers flashed a false news that Saudi is carrying out military operations in Yemen. Subsequently, the news was picked by several online news sites and this further spread the panic in the Region.

The fake report on Al-Watan was picked up by a number of Arabic news sites loyal to Shiite-dominated Iran, the regional rival of Sunni Saudi Arabia. Relations between the two countries have worsened this year. The newspaper online site was subject to hacking at 9:20am (local time) on Thursday by hostile groups from outside the kingdom, the newspaper said in a statement obtained by AFP.

They were able to control the site for a period of time and published false news including a fake statement by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, it said. The hacker intentionally published lies, claiming they were quotes from Prince Mohammed. He was cited as saying the Saudi-led military coalition’s operation in Yemen had gone on longer than expected, comments which Al-Watan said were not based on any reality. The coalition began air strikes in Yemen in March last year to support the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after Huthi rebels backed by Iran seized much of the country. A fragile truce has been in effect for almost two months while United Nations-brokered talks between the rebels and government take place in Kuwait.

Al-Watan is a privately-owned newspaper linked to a member of the royal family and based in the southwestern city of Abha. It said technicians were able to recover the website after this crime of hacking. Riyadh cut ties with Tehran in January after demonstrators torched its diplomatic missions there following the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia.

In their latest dispute, the two countries have not been able to agree on arrangements for Iranian pilgrims to join the annual Muslim hajj in Saudi Arabia this year. Four years ago, a damaging malware assault hit the state oil company Saudi Aramco. US intelligence officials believed it was linked to Iran. Tehran last month denied supporting cyber attacks against the United States after a New York court indicted seven Iranians over hacking dozens of American banks and a major dam.

Source | Sakshipost