Saudi websites hacked by ‘well-intentioned’ group

More than 24 government websites briefly hacked by group that said it wanted to warn administrators over cybersecurity.

Riyadh newspaper screenshot
Al-Riyadh newspaper said the hacking of the sites was carried out by a group named itself 'Cyber of Emotion' []

More than 24 Saudi government websites have been briefly hacked, despite warnings from the hackers themselves that they would be making the attacks, local media has reported.

Al-Riyadh newspaper said the hacking of the sites on Friday was carried out over a period of two hours by a group named “Cyber of Emotion”.

Visitors to the websites, which mainly served provincial areas, were directed to a page that read: “We do not want to harm the site. Had it been hacked by enemies, your personal information, emails and registration data would have been compromised.”

On Twitter, the hackers said their team had already warned the administrators of the websites that the sites were not properly secured and that they should do something about it.

These warnings were ignored, the hackers said.

All the websites appeared to be working properly a few hours after the hacks.

Last year, the same group hacked the Ministry of Justice’s Twitter account, and questioned the ministry over what it said were costs of 168m Saudi riyals ($45m) for developing a website.

Saudi Arabia has faced far more serious cyberattacks, including earlier this year, when tens of thousands of documents were made public.

Most of the documents contained correspondence between the foreign ministry and Saudi embassies across the world.

In 2013, Saudi Arabia said its government websites were hacked in a series of major cyberattacks from overseas, disabling them briefly until the attacks were repelled.

Source: Al Jazeera