Iran backed militia attempts to hack Okaz, Saudi Gazette websites

Updated 08 January 2019
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Iran backed militia attempts to hack Okaz, Saudi Gazette websites

  • The websites of the two newspapers will be out of service for a few hours Tuesday as a precautionary measure against further hacking attempts
  • The two newspapers were targeted because of their Iran-related content and their support of Yemen’s legitimate government

JEDDAH: An Iranian backed militia attempted to hack Saudi newspapers Okaz and Saudi Gazette on Tuesday.
In a joint statement, the newspapers said the hackers attempted to publish a vulgar message and destroy the credibility of the two publications.
The statement added that the two newspapers were targeted because of their Iran-related content and their support of Yemen’s legitimate government.
Editor in chief of Okaz, Jameel Al-Thiyabi, who is also the general supervisor of Saudi Gazette, said the attempt to hack the websites will increase the publication’s persistence in “exposing Houthi and Iranian crimes in Yemen under all circumstances.”
He added that the two publications would not change their approach to the way they covered the war in Yemen or their support of the truth.
The websites of the two newspapers will be out of service for a few hours Tuesday as a precautionary measure against further hacking attempts.

Al Madina, another Saudi newspaper, said it was also targeted by the Iran backed hackers. 
Saudi Gazette, established in 1978, is a Saudi English language newspaper with an online presence. Its sister publication is Okaz.
Okaz is a Saudi Arabic language daily newspaper located in Jeddah. The paper was launched in 1960.


Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

Updated 20 January 2019
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Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

  • Japanese journalist says they have to cover the summit because the Mideast region is too important for Japan
  • TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks

BEIRUT: Journalists from across the world gathered in Lebanon’s Beirut Waterfront to cover the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit on Sunday despite the tumultuous days leading up to the event.

It was not just Arab and Middle Eastern journalists who were present at the summit’s official media center; reporters from Japan, Europe and the US were also in attendance. 

There were conflicting reports on the number of journalists attending, ranging from 600 to double that. The summit’s official spokesman Dany Najim said 1,200 journalists covered the event. 

In addition to journalists working with news organizations and institutions were those traveling as part of country delegations. 

The Arab League sent 11 journalists, while official numbers put an average of 10 journalists per delegation. 

“We must cover the summit. The region is very important to us. It’s where we buy oil and gas,” said a Japanese journalist.

TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks. While they were placed in a hall adjacent to the main summit meeting room, two large screens were continuously airing the summit’s activities and talks.

Rigid security protocols were in place for the safety of attending delegations. Roads starting from Beirut’s Phoenicia Hotel in Minet Al-Hosn district all the way to Al-Nahar newspaper’s offices in Martyrs’ Square were closed as part of a security zone. 

Transportation of journalists was organized by the summit, where a bus was available round the clock to pick them up and take them to the Monroe Hotel — the media hub for the summit — in Minet Al-Hosn, before taking another bus to the Beirut Waterfront.

Several stores and restaurants were forced to shut for the days of the summit, while some issued mass text messages to the public to announce that they will stay open.

This is the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit. The previous ones were hosted by Kuwait in 2009, Egypt in 2011, and Saudi Arabia in 2013.