Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saudi Hacked 23 Government Websites within 2 Hours

For those of you who have seen the version of the Die Hard movie franchise where an ex government agent hacks the entire national system and shuts it down, the following real life occurrence will seem like a plot of a movie, however it is not a movie, and is something which has happened in real life. Reports coming from the Kingdom indicate that a Saudi man had highlighted the weakness and vulnerabilities of the security of several of the official government websites, however to prove what he was talking about, the man hacked into 23 government websites all in the time span of 2 hours just to show actually how vulnerable these official websites were.

The government websites which were hacked into by this Saudi hacker include almost all relevant government authorities such as the traffic websites, municipal, sports, health and education, amongst several others. After the hacking had been done, he sent out a message in which he justified his actions by stating that the Government had ignored his requests to upgrade the security of these official websites prior to an attack which he thought was imminent on the websites. The hacker known by his username of Cyber_Emotion has just announced through his Twitter account that he had targeted all those Government websites which had weak security. He added that he hacked under a title of from us and not from others. He also stated that he did not corrupt or damage any of the data which was available to him once he had hacked the official websites and that he would prevent anyone from entering the websites until the necessary precautions and security measures are put into place.

The Al Rawda Education Office, Meisan Municipality, Al Qunfudha City Health Program, Al Mahani municipality, Social Development Center in Al Aflaj Governorate, Education Office in Al Birk, Al Ghaat Municipality, Asir traffic Department, Abqaiq education office portals, giftedness administration, educational values website, King Fahd Hospital, Municipal Council, Student activity administration portal in Riyadh, education office in Al Sulayyil, the Prince Saud Bin Juluqi Hospital in Al Ahsa, Saudi Federation for the Deaf, Municipal council in Turaif, student activity administration in Taif, the official website for the Municipal council in Umluj as well as the Umluj Municipality website were hacked by the Saudi Hacker just to prove a point to the Saudi government.

The hacker states that he did not want to harm anyone but just wants to see his country’s official websites and portals being safeguarded properly. While some authorities have confirmed the fact that they have regained control of their website after the hacking incident, there are still those under the hacker’s control

It has been discovered that a majority of government websites function on external servers and hence are kept under little to no security, additionally some of them operate at very minimal costs of SAR 800 per year which rules out any chances of heightened security. It has been published on Arab News that this hacker has been arrested by the Saudi Police on King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh. They will be conducting inquiries from him but in my opinion, the government should just hire him and make him safeguard their online portals.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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