Etisalat websites hit by cyber attacks
Etisalat websites appeared to have fallen victim to cyber attacks on Thursday morning, leading to questions about whether user information had been compromised.
Several Etisalat customers tweeted that the operator’s main corporate website, etisalat.com, and its UAE homepage, etisalat.ae, had been replaced with a rudimentary portal-style Chinese website. Some users also reported problems with the operator’s UAE billing page, e4me.ae.
All three websites appeared to be up and running again as per normal from the middle of the afternoon.
A spokesman for the operator was not able to give further details regarding the origins of the cyber attack, how long the relevant sites were affected, or whether any user billing information was compromised.
The website of competitor du was unaffected.
The attack comes in the wake of last month’s high-profile cyber attack on Sony Pictures from a group calling itself Guardians of Peace, believed to be based in North Korea.
The attack resulted in the publication of a string of embarrassing emails from studio executives, and eventually led to the studio’s decision on Wednesday to cancel the theatrical release of the movie The Interview, a comedy about a plot to fill the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
In October Apple’s iCloud servers came under intermittent attacks from hackers that appeared to be backed by the Chinese government.
Cyber attacks on UAE websites are not a new phenomenon. The UAE’s telecoms regulator said that in July of last year that it had successfully thwarted “Egypt-originated” attacks on government websites.
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Updated: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM