Hacking

Anonymous Arabia Strikes At UAE Entities In Cyberattack

Upon inspection of the websites, no signs of foul play were found, as they were functioning properly.

by Samiksha Jain May 6, 2024

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Anonymous Arabia, a ransomware group notorious for its clandestine operations, has allegedly targeted two significant entities in the UAE: Dubai.ae, the country’s official website offering a multitude of public services, and the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), responsible for managing water and electricity supply in Abu Dhabi and beyond.

While initial assessments suggest minimal impact on these sites, details regarding the motive behind the cyberattacks on UAE entities, the extent of data compromise, or ransom demands remain undisclosed by the perpetrators.

Upon inspection of the websites, no signs of foul play were found, as they were functioning properly. However, clarity on the matter awaits official statements from the UAE entities.

Source: X

Anonymous Arabia Not Alone: UAE Hit by Others Too

Anonymous Arabia targeting UAE entities comes on the heels of another purported cyber onslaught attributed to Stormous Ransomware, allegedly affiliated with the notorious Five Families alliance.

Stormous has claimed responsibility for targeting a slew of high-profile UAE entities, including Bayanat, the government’s sovereign wealth fund’s analytics arm; Kids.ae, a digital platform for children; the Telecommunications and Digital Regulatory Authority (TDRA); the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR); and the Sharik citizen portal.

While Stormous has not divulged specifics of the attacks, they have directed targets to their blog on the Tor network, hinting at potential data leaks if ransom demands are not met.

Prior to these incidents, a much larger cyberattack was claimed by the Five Families alliance, targeting a vast number of UAE entities across various sectors. Governmental and private entities such as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, and several ministries were reportedly compromised.

In this alleged cyberattack, the group demanded a 150 BTC ransom (approximately $6.7 million USD at today’s exchange rate), threatening to leak stolen data if the demands were not met.

These successive waves of cyberattacks highlight the growing menace posed by ransomware groups to critical infrastructure and government entities. The implications of such attacks are multifaceted and could have far-reaching consequences, including compromised sensitive data, disruptions to essential services, financial losses, and erosion of public trust.

The recurrent targeting of UAE entities by ransomware groups raises pertinent questions about the country’s cybersecurity posture and the motives driving these malicious actors.

Why UAE is a Target

The UAE’s status as a global economic hub and its significant investments in technology and infrastructure make it an attractive target for hackers:

  • Financial Gain: Attacks on wealthy nations and prominent organizations offer the potential for substantial financial gains through ransom payments or stolen data.
  • Political Motivations: Hacktivist groups may target UAE entities for political reasons, aiming to disrupt government operations or make political statements.
  • Critical Infrastructure: The UAE’s critical infrastructure, including energy utilities and government services, presents lucrative targets for cybercriminals seeking to cause widespread disruption.

As the UAE grapples with the aftermath of these alleged cyberattacks, vigilance, resilience, and decisive action are imperative to mitigate risks, enhance cyber resilience, and preserve national security in an increasingly digitized world.

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