Al Jazeera comes under cyberattack as Persian Gulf crisis escalates

The Al Jazeera logo. (Osama Saeed Bhutta / Flickr)

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Al Jazeera Media Network, the state-funded broadcaster partly owned by Qatar’s ruling family, is “undergoing systematic and continual hacking attempts,” the company announced on Thursday. “These attempts are gaining intensity and taking various forms.”

There has been no compromise of any Al Jazeera systems, according to a statement on the news organization’s website.

The cyberattacks against Al Jazeera closely follow a rash of political hacks across Persian Gulf states that triggered a diplomatic crisis over alleged Qatari connections to radical and terrorist networks.

CyberScoop has reached out to Al Jazeera and will update this story when we receive a response.

In the last two weeks, a Qatari media outlet was hacked apparently to plant fake quotes from Emir Sheikh Tamim, emails were leaked from the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States and the Twitter account of Bahrain’s Foreign Minister was hacked to post pro-militant propaganda. The connection between all the events remains unclear.

The FBI is apparently pointing the finger at Russia for some of the hacks, according to unconfirmed reports from CNN. No individual or group has taken credit for the hacks, while Russian officials have denied any involvement.

In the U.A.E., sympathizing with Qatar online has been pronounced a crime punishable by prison.

When Saudi Arabia and Egypt cut off diplomatic links to Qatar on Monday, President Donald Trump took credit for the move.

Qatar is a large military ally of the United States that plays host to the $60 million headquarters from which the U.S. runs its air war against the Islamic State.

This story is developing and will be updated as information becomes available.

-In this Story-

Al Jazeera, Bahrain, Egypt, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
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