UAE said to be behind hacking of Qatari websites

17 Juillet, 2017, 17:16 | Author: Claudine Rigal

A new report by the Washington Post, citing U.S. intelligence, says there is evidence that the United Arab Emirates coordinated the hacking of Qatar's state media agency (QNA), which led to the blockade of the Gulf monarchy. The hacked emails allegedly reveal the UAE's efforts over the years to sway USA policymakers to its side of the dispute against Qatar.

Gargash said the memorandum of understanding signed by the United States and Qatar on Tuesday on the financing of terrorism was a positive development.

While there is similarly no verifiable proof in the Sunday report by Washington Post, it also cites a recent leak of the UAE's ambassador's emails, released by the GlobalLeaks hacking group.

The US intelligence learned about the UAE's involvement after analyzing the obtained information that UAE senior officials allegedly discussed the plan of hacking Qatar's media outlet on May 23, one day prior to the attack.

The Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had been falsely quoted in May as praising Hamas and saying that Iran was an "Islamic power", the Post reported.

And now U.S. intelligence agencies are claiming the quotes were posted falsely and deliberately in a state-sponsored hack ordered by the UAE trying to whip up anger against its smaller Gulf neighbour.

Abu Dhabi denied the accusation, with its Washington envoy calling the Post story "false" in a statement.

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In early July, the Arab states sent a list of demand and required Doha to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, close the Turkish military base, eliminate Al-Jazeera TV channel, extradite all persons wanted in four countries on charges of terrorism and pay compensation.

According to intelligence officials, the working theory since the attacks was reported has been that the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or a combination of these countries were involved in orchestrating the hacks.

Qatar said at the time that it had been hacked by unknown entities.

"We've sent a message to Qatar".

They also presented the emirate with a list of 13 demands with which to comply to end the worst political crisis in the region for years.

A senior UAE official said global monitoring was needed in the standoff between Qatar and its Arab neighbours, adding he saw signs that the pressure exerted on Doha "was working".

Commentators had expected further sanctions to be placed on Doha, however Mr Gargash has said that the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or with Qatar.

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