UAE hit by 289 cyber attacks in Q1 – but was safe

TRA prevents 289 cyber-attacks in Q1 2017

ABU DHAB 31 July 2017: The UAE has succeeded in preventing some 289 cyber-attacks during the first quarter of 2017, reflecting its efforts in countering attempts to hack websites or interrupt their services.

The cyber-attacks, which the United Arab Emirates Computer Emergency Response Team, aeCERT, of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), successfully prevented from January to the end of March, represent 27.4 per cent of the number of cyber-attacks that it dealt with in 2016, which reached 1,054.

According to the latest statistics released by the TRA, the attacks targeted government and quasi-government websites, as well as private sector websites such as those of several local banks.

The first month of the current year witnessed the largest number of cyber-attacks, reaching a total of 136, with 133 against government websites and three against private sector websites.

In February, the number of cyber-attacks reached 114, with 86 attacks against private sector websites and 23 against government websites. March witnessed a decline in the number of attacks to 39, with 21 against private sector websites and 18 against government websites.

According to the aeCERT, the attacks involved targeting and interrupting websites and their services, as well as deception, fraud and document theft.

The TRA always advises all concerned authorities of the necessity to follow essential information security policy, as well as creating backup copies of their data and saving them on other devices that are not connected to the internet. It also offers advice on the best practices related to information security.

To improve awareness among all government and private sector institutions, the TRA organises many lectures and seminars to introduce them to various topics on the latest advances in information security, and the methods of countering any attempts of hacking, service interruption or libel on organisational websites.

By Sheena Amos