Qatari government-funded international Arabic news channel Al Jazeera announced to have blocked this week a series of cyberattacks that attempted to disrupt and take over some components of its news publishing platform.
“Al Jazeera Media Network was subjected to a series of cyber hacking attempts to penetrate some of its platforms and websites this week.” reads the press release published by Al Jazeera.
“Between June 5 and 8, 2021, Al Jazeera websites and platforms experienced continued electronic attacks aimed at accessing, disrupting, and controlling some of the news platforms. The peak of these attacks took place on Sunday evening, June 6, prior to the screening of an episode of the documentary strand ‘Ma Khafia Atham’ (What is Hidden is Greater) entitled “In the Grip of the Resistance” on Al Jazeera Channel.”
The series of attacks was observed between June 5 and 8, 2021, with a peak of these on Sunday evening, June 6.
Al-Jazeera added that its service provider was able to detect the attacks and stop the hacking attempts.
Al Jazeera condemns these cyber attacks and affirms its right to pursue legal recourse against the perpetrators. Such attacks only increase Al Jazeera’s resolve to continue its bold and exemplary journalism.
“Al Jazeera’s service provider was able to monitor and fend off all the hacking attacks and prevent them from achieving their goal.” concludes the press release. “Al Jazeera condemns these cyber attacks and affirms its right to pursue legal recourse against the perpetrators. Such attacks only increase Al Jazeera’s resolve to continue its bold and exemplary journalism.”
In December 2020, researchers from Citizen Lab reported that at least 36 employees of the Qatari news channel were targeted in a cyber espionage campaign leveraging a zero-click iOS zero-day vulnerability to hack their iPhones.
The attackers used an exploit chain named Kismet that was part of the arsenal of the controversial Pegasus spyware that is sold by the surveillance firm NSO Group.
In June 2017, the Qatari news channel announced that all its systems were under a large-scale cyber attack. The news was spread in a statement released on social media by the broadcaster. The media reported that some viewers in the region were not able to receive the signal of the television.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking)