Threat Management, Threat Management, Threat Intelligence

Fake news allegedly planted by Russian hackers helped trigger Qatar crisis

A controversial report seemingly published last month by Qatar's state news agency may be fake news planted by Russian hackers who allegedly broke into the agency's system, according to an exclusive CNN report, citing U.S. officials.

The allegedly falsified report, published on May 23, reportedly included fabricated statements – attributed to Qatar's current ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – that praised Iran and Israel while maligning U.S. President Donald Trump 

Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all announced this week that they would cut off or downgrade relations with Qatar, accusing the small gulf nation of financing terrorist operations as a key factor. But the report may also contributed to this Middle Eastern diplomatic crisis, which U.S. officials believe benefits Russia by creating rifts among America and its allies, CNN reports.

According to CNN, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that the FBI has confirmed the fake news cyberattack, while another official said that U.S. and U.K. authorities are actively investigating the incident.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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