Tech Terrorism: Saudis blamed for hacking Iranian newspaper website

The chief editor of Iranian Arabic-language newspaper Al Vafagh has claimed that Saudi Arabia was behind the weekend hack of the newspaper’s website, which is part of the state-run news agency IRNA.

Not only did the hackers paralyze the work of the newspaper’s’ website for a whole two days, but they also posted a photo of Saudi Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Nayef.

Radio Sputnik asked the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Mosib Na’imi to elaborate on the situation.

“Cyber wars have recently become very popular in various parts of the globe. Unfortunately, our country’s ill-wishers keep bending international laws by trying to gag major media outlets,” Mosib Na’imi said.

The hack attack  came four days after Saudi newspaper Al-Watan said that its website had come under a similar attack by hackers “from outside Saudi Arabia” who posted false statements by Saudi Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Nayef.

“This time round the hackers posted the portrait of the Saudi Foreign Minister, a telltale sign of who was behind all this attack. Our technicians have determined that the attack originated from outside this country.”

Mosib Na’imi said that at the time of the attack “it seemed that all  data from the newspaper’s website had disappeared, but our team of IT specialists prevented a complete loss of information.”

“Our website has been fully restored and we have already managed to determine the source of this attack. Right now we are investigating the incident and an official statement will be following,” Mosib Na’imi noted.

Mr. Nai’mi said that even though relations between the two countries have seriously deteriorated over the past few months it was still not a reason to unleash a cyberwar, adding that Al Vafagh reserved the right to file a lawsuit with pertinent international organizations.

“It doesn’t matter whether we have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia or not. Through international organizations we can demand that the Saudi authorities help us find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice.”

“In any case it is clear that the Saudis could not have staged an attack of this magnitude alone. This flies in the face of all existing international media laws so the Saudi hackers or those who were ordered to do this by Riyadh must not go unpunished,” Mosib Na’imi said in conclusion.

Tehran earlier claimed that a recent cyber-attack against one of its government websites originated from Saudi Arabia.
Brigadier General Seyed Kamal Hadianfar, chief of Iran’s Cyber Police (FATA) announced that his agency had managed to identify the IP addresses of hackers responsible for an attack against the Statistical Center of Iran’s website.

According to the general, the perpetrators were traced to three Arabian countries, and the entire attack was coordinated by a mastermind residing in Saudi Arabia.

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia soured following the January 2016 execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, an outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, along with 46 other people convicted of terrorism.
By Sputnik News