Large Media Network Al-Jazeera Media Being Barraged By Cyber Attacks

Media Division | June 9, 2017

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, media and entertainment organizations can be large targets for cyber attackers. This industry includes a range of different types of data that can be valuable to attackers. But, some cyber attacks are not targeted to steal information necessarily but are rather for the malicious purpose of disrupting operations and functions. This is what may be the case in an attack on Qatar’s large media network Al-Jazeera, as they have been being hit by a wave of frequent cyber attacks.

The incident had initially been announced on Thursday afternoon through the network’s Twitter, where they had said that they were under attack on all websites, systems, and social media platforms. Shortly after that post, they had said, “The websites and digital platforms of Al Jazeera Media Network are undergoing systematic and continual hacking attempts. These attempts are gaining intensity and taking various forms.” Fortunately, they had also said that the platforms had not been compromised. In a statement to Fortune, a source requesting to remain anonymous had said that the network was being hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack and that it appears to associated with Mirai malware. Mirai had surfaced at the end of last year and caused a litany of issues. Though, there does not appear to be any reports of Al Jazeera officially confirming this information about the attack. In what could be assumed to be a result of these attacks, some viewers said that they were unable to receive the network’s television after the initial reports of the attack.

A Previous Recent Attack in Qatar

This attack comes in the wake of a previous attack last month, in which hackers were able to access the Qatar News Agency website, which is the Middle East nation’s official media outlet. The hackers had posted falsified statements purported to be from Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, such as stating that United States President Donald Trump may not hold power that long, and praising Iran for the provision of Middle East stability. These posts had created heavy tensions between Qatar and other Gulf states. The Qatari government had requested help from the U.S. after this attack, and an FBI team has been in Doha for the last week as a response to this. The Ministry of Interior had said it would release further details once the investigation was finished, but there was no timeline given for this.

The Need for More Comprehensive Security to Prevent Cyber Attacks

As varying types of attacks continue to affect a multitude of industries, every organization is needing to bolster their security to be able to properly prevent cyber attacks. DDoS and other types of malicious attacks are only becoming more common as we continue to further implement cyber technologies in our societal functions and operations. With the range of personal, national, and vital information that we store through electronic means, security must be extremely formidable to be able to properly prevent cyber attacks. An organization needs to thoroughly vet their networks, systems, connections, devices, and everything else for vulnerabilities to ensure that they are completely protected. It is fortunate that the network in the above incident had formidable enough security that nothing was compromised, but this is not always the case. Massive Alliance can provide a wide arsenal of security tools to help organizations prevent cyber attacks.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.