Research published by the “BlackBerry” software company showed that government institutions of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and members of the ruling families of Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar were subjected to cyber attacks by the “Bahamot” group.
The report, which was published on Wednesday, revealed the activities of the group known as the “Bahamot”, a sea monster in Arab mythology, and highlights that cybersecurity researchers have increasingly found evidence of mercenaries on the Internet.
BlackBerry Vice President of Research, Eric Milam, said the diversity of the Bahamot’s activities was so intense that he assumed that the group served different clients.
“There are so many things happening on so many different levels … that it cannot be one country,” Milam said before the report was released.
BlackBerry, which included the anti-virus company Silence in 2019, has collected digital leads that other researchers have come up with over the years to paint a picture of a complex group of hackers.
BlackBerry has linked the group to mobile phone applications on the Apple and Google app stores.
The report said that these apps, which include a fitness tracker app and a password control app, may have helped hackers track their targets.
Milam declined to comment on who was perceived to be behind the “Bahamot” group, but said he hoped the report would help clamp down on fare hackers.
The CEO of the Emirati “Tefracor” company for Internet security, Taha Karim, who did not participate in the research “BlackBerry” but reviewed the report before publication, confirmed that what was reached is credible.
BlackBerry did not directly mention any of the goals of the “Bahamot” group, but researchers spoke earlier about human rights activists in the Middle East, military officials in Pakistan and businessmen from the Arab Gulf states as one of the group’s goals.
Reuters reported that it was able to set new targets for the group by comparing the report data with data from URLScan pages, one of the tools used in internet security.
Among the targets targeted are the UAE Ministry of Defense, the Supreme Council for National Security in the UAE, and the second most prominent Emirati diplomat in Washington, Shaima Gargash.
According to Reuters, the hackers also targeted Saudi officials, and the urlscan hacking pages, which were reviewed by Reuters, showed that they had targeted the Saudi government e-mail service (Trusted), about 6 Saudi ministries and the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships. It is based in Riyadh and helps coordinate the kingdom’s foreign policy.
Infiltrators have tracked down figures from the ruling families and executives in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.
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