Businesses in Gulf countries allied to the US are under renewed threat from suspected Iranian hackers in what may amount to preparation for cyber retaliation against impending US sanctions on the country’s critical oil industry.
The apparent digital sabotage threat, which comes six years after energy companies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar fell victim to major Iran-linked cyberattacks, coincides with concern over hackers’ increased targeting of Gulf businesses. An annual regional cybersecurity survey revealed in May that over 40 per cent of the latter have had at least one breach in the last year, more than 10 per cent up on 2016 – though no mention of the likely source of the attacks was disclosed in reports on the findings.
By Yigal Chazan
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