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Qatar accused of committing cyber espionage over Egyptian footballers and thousands of other personalities

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Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy accused Qatar government of hacking email accounts of eight Egyptian football players and about 1200 other prominent personalities from the state, including politicians, academics, ambassadors, etc. Fahmy disclosed the documents evidencing the Gulf nation’s extensive hacking scheme.

 

Breaching the accounts of the prominent footballers and politicians ahead of its hosting of 2022 World Cup, indicates the Gulf nation’s attempt to gain ability to influence the sport and geopolitics of the region.

 

As reported by the Daily Caller, a senior consultant at US National Security Studies Group, David Reaboi said, “The billions Qatar spent on their World Cup bid — and the shady stuff they seemed willing to do to secure it — indicates how seriously the tiny Gulf nation takes soccer as an instrument of projecting influence.”

 

He added that the reasons for Qatar to conduct such an act could “range from wanting to silence critics to, in this case, as part of an effort to either sabotage or lure Egyptian players onto its national soccer team.”

 

Fahmy claimed to be carrying out investigations for past one year, while working along cybercrime and forensic experts. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller, Fahmy said, “Qatar’s cybercrime is the largest electronic sabotage in history — not only because it extended to many regions across the globe, but also for its duration. It went on for close to four years between 2014 and to our current date.”

 

While pointing out evidences, Fahmy said, “These hackers were using VPNs that indicated they were operating from different countries but then there was a glitch and a drop – almost like a curtain falling for a couple of minutes – and it indicated that the hack was being conducted from Qatar from OOREDO, the main telecommunications company in Qatar. The IP address is registered to [OOREDO], indicating it originated from inside [the Qatari capital] Doha.”

 

Fahmy plans to produce documentaries on issues related to violation of human rights, women’s rights, and the effects of terrorism on people – one of which would be based on the Qatar hack.

 

Besides, Qatar has also been criticised by the Arabian Gulf neighbours for supporting and funding of Islamist extremist groups including the U.S.-designated terrorist group, Hamas.

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