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

The UAE in August broke with decades of Arab policy when it agreed to forge ties with Israel in a move that angered Palestinians and some Muslim states and communities. Bahrain and Sudan have followed suit.

“Our relationship, for example, with the normalisation 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.

Kuwaiti said the financial sector was targeted, but did not elaborate. He did not say if any of the attacks were sucessful or provide details on who the perpetrators were. He also told the conference that the number of cyber attacks in the UAE increased sharply after the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Kuwaiti said traditionally many attacks in the region originate from Iran. Iran has also said that it has been a victim of hacking.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2020

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