QATAR MEDIA NETWORK Al Jazeera has claimed that it was the victim of a major cyberattack targeting all of its systems, websites and social media platforms.
In a series of tweets, the company said its "entire Doha-based network [was] undergoing ‘systematic and continual hacking attempts'".
The company said that these attempts had been taking multiple different forms and were gaining in intensity, but added that its platforms had not been compromised.
It follows a recent hack of Qatar's state news service that resulted in false statements being attributed to the country's ruler, with the intention, it is believed, of sparking a rift with other Arab Gulf states.
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A source familiar with the matter told Fortune that Al Jazeera was on the receiving end of a distributed denial of services (DDoS) attack. The media company had to temporarily shut down its website for security reasons following the attack, and employees flocked to social media to state that they were having difficulties in accessing their emails and the internet.
Dr Malcolm Murphy, technology director of Western Europe at network monitoring software company Infoblox, said that while the precise nature and impact of the attack against Al Jazeera is still unclear, it was the latest in a number of targeted attacks against established institutions that showed no signs of slowing down.
"If they weren't already, all organisations need to be operating under the assumption that an eventual attack is a certainty. In order to have a hope of protecting themselves against an eventual breach, businesses need to ensure they are continually monitoring their networks for malicious activity," he said.
This isn't the first time that the news network has been hit by a DDoS attack - the Arab satellite television network suffered an attack on its English and Arabic websites back in 2003. The attacks began shortly after the network published photos of US soldiers who had been taken prisoner by Iraqi forces inside Iraq. µ
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