Saudi Arabia ‘a prime target for hackers,’ cyber experts warn

The seventh Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference takes place in the Saudi capital on Monday and Tuesday. AFP
Updated 08 September 2019

Saudi Arabia ‘a prime target for hackers,’ cyber experts warn

  • State-sponsored hackers had previously mounted attacks on Kingdom's critical infrastructure

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s size, wealth, and geopolitical prominence make it a prime target for cyberattackers, experts have warned on the eve of a high-profile cybersecurity conference that begins in Riyadh on Monday.

“As the world gets more and more interconnected and we become increasingly dependent on technology, the threat landscape is broadening and creating more opportunities for attackers,” said Mark Leveratt, cybersecurity adviser to the Defense Services Marketing Council in Abu Dhabi.

“This is leaving individuals, organizations, governments and nations increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.”


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Muhammad Khurram Khan, founder and chief executive of the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research in Washington, said state-sponsored hackers had already launched elaborately planned cyberattacks against the Kingdom’s critical infrastructure and government departments.

“They are also targeting the general public and local organizations, including hospitals, universities and SMEs, for financial gain by performing ransomware attacks, which have increased by almost 400 percent over previous years,” he said. Khan said cybercrime legislation should be an integral part of the national cybersecurity strategy of every country.

“Fortunately, Saudi Arabia has developed an anti-cybercrime law that aims to secure the safe exchange of data, protect the rights of users and the internet, and defend the public interest, morals and privacy,” he said.

The seventh Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference takes place in the Saudi capital on Monday and Tuesday.

 


King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 21 November 2019

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.