DUBAI: Hackers took over the Twitter account of the Bahraini foreign minister on Saturday just 10 days after neighboring Qatar claimed its official news agency had been subject to a cyberattack.
The foreign ministry confirmed the hack, blaming it on the “terrorist party,” without elaborating.
The Account of H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs has been hacked. Kindly be aware.
— وزارة الخارجية (@bahdiplomatic) June 3, 2017
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry issued a statement a few hours after the hacking incident saying that "the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of Bahrain would like to clarify that the Twitter account of His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, was hacked today (Saturday) by a terrorist group attributing false tweets to H.E. the Minister."
The ministry affirmed that it is currently working on restoring the account.
The statement continued saying that the terrorist group "fears hearing the truth in the Minister’s tweets, which often exposes their terrorist nature."
All necessary measures will be taken to hold accountable the individuals behind this despicable act, according to the ministry.
The hackers also posted a fake report that Qatar had severed relations with several neighboring countries.
FBI experts are helping with the investigation, sources close to the case told AFP on Friday.
The news follows the alleged hacking of the Qatar News Agency, which saw pro-Iran statements posted, attributed to the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Some critics have however cast doubt over claims that the Qatar News Agency was subject to a cyberattack. Al Arabiya News Channel’s English website, for example, provided evidence that the agency was not subject to a hack.
In a related matter, it has been reported that Yousef Al-Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the US, had his email account hacked. The Daily Beast reported that the hackers had been in contact to offer a sample of some of the emails.
Embassy spokeswoman Lamiyae Jbari confirmed to The Daily Beast that the Hotmail address in the emails belongs to Al-Otaiba.
Jbari said The Daily Beast’s phone call was the first the embassy had heard of the account being hacked and the contents leaked. “I’m sure you’re not the only one who received it,” Jbari told the website.
— With input from AFP