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Cyber Attacks Increasing on Gulf, told at Conference

 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Experts told on 27th February, Monday, that the Gulf countries should tighten the coordination to combat growing number of cyber attacks as one of the official held hackers of Iran responsible. The remarks came at an international conference in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, after shamoon 2 virus has disrupted computers of the labor ministry in January.

 

Director General - Saleh Al Motairi, Saudi National Cyber Security Centre, told at the conference that all the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries are in risk. Gulfnews.com posted on February 27th 2017, quoting him as saying that "there is an increase in the attacks on GCC countries", after observing that both the financial as well as government bodies were targeted.

 

Cyber security experts say that GCC members Kuwait and Bahrain were also targets of rising attacks in the past year. Lieutenant Colonel - Bassam Al Maraj, ministry director, said that hackers tried to invade computer systems of the interior ministry of Bahrain. Maraj added that the attempted breach came from Iran, as well as pointed out "Bahraini people living in Iran."

 

Shamoon virus got deployed first against the energy sector of Saudi Arabia in 2012. Almotairi said about the virus that there was no way of preventing this attack. After the Shamoon hacking in 2012, US intelligence officials told that they suspect a link to Iran, rival of Saudi Arabia.

 

Organisational infrastructure of oil and gas-rich region against hacking is still new because experts become more focused on fighting the increasing attacks. National Cyber Security Centre of Saudi Arabia has been created during the last 2 years, but it was formally got opened on this month only.

 

Walia said that "cyber is anything related to critical information and critical infrastructure as well, and we need to protect information and infrastructure and guarantee a smooth flow of services". He further added that it is like the game of cat and mouse, and we have to prepare ourselves for worst. Khalid Al-Hashmi, Cyber Security Undersecretary of the emirate, told in the conference that Qatar started its strategy of cyber security in 2014.

 

Saudi Prince Bandar Al Mishari, assistant interior minister of Technology Affairs, said that we have to pay more thought on cyber security and must employ more professionals in the cyber security.

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