Al Jazeera says it blocked cyberattack looking to disrupt & control its platform

Arab news conglomerate Al Jazeera said it blocked this week a series of cyberattacks that attempted to breach, disrupt, and control some parts of its news publishing platform.

The attacks took place over the course of multiple days, between June 5 and 8, 2021, Al Jazeera said in a press release on Wednesday.

The Qatar-based news agency said its service provider detected and stopped all intrusion attempts.

"The peak of these attacks took place on Sunday evening, June 6, prior to the screening of an episode of the documentary strand 'Ma Khafia Atham' (What is Hidden is Greater) entitled 'In the Grip of the Resistance'," the news agency said.

The episode, which aired as planned, detailed secret negotiations between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in the aftermath of the recent military flare-ups.

Al Jazeera condemns these cyber attacks and affirms its right to pursue legal recourse against the perpetrators. Such attacks only increase Al Jazeera's resolve to continue its bold and exemplary journalism.

Al Jazeera spokesperson

An Al Jazeera spokesperson did not return a request for comment seeking additional details about the attacks and suspected perpetrators.

However, the incident is likely less significant than the hacking campaign that targeted Al Jazeera last year, when mysterious threat actors targeted the company's journalists with iPhone zero-days.

According to a Citizen Lab report, the attackers, which were described as "government operatives" for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, used an iPhone exploit called Kismet to go after the personal phones of 36 Al Jazeera journalists, producers, anchors, and executives.

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Catalin Cimpanu

Catalin Cimpanu

is a cybersecurity reporter who previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.