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UAE target of cyberattacks after Israel normalization: Emirati official

Published: Updated:

The United Arab Emirates was the target of cyberattacks after establishing formal ties with Israel, the Gulf Arab state’s cyber security head said on Sunday.

The UAE in August agreed to forge ties with Israel in a move that angered Palestinians and some Muslim states and communities. Bahrain and Sudan have followed suit.

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“Our relationship, for example, with the normalization with Israel really opened a whole huge attacks from some other activists against the UAE,” Mohamed Hamad al-Kuwaiti said during an onstage interview at a conference in Dubai.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2020. (Reuters)
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2020. (Reuters)

Kuwaiti said the financial sector was targeted but did not elaborate. He did not say if any of the attacks were successful or provide details on who the perpetrators were.

He also told the conference that the number of cyberattacks in the UAE increased sharply after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Kuwaiti said traditionally many attacks in the region originate from Iran, without specifying who is behind them.

Stuart Davis, a director at one of FireEye's subsidiaries, stands in front of a map of Iran as he speaks to journalists about the techniques of Iranian hacking, Sept. 20, 2017, in Dubai. (AP)
Stuart Davis, a director at one of FireEye's subsidiaries, stands in front of a map of Iran as he speaks to journalists about the techniques of Iranian hacking, Sept. 20, 2017, in Dubai. (AP)

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