TIB hacking group accused of targeting government computers in Qatar

Pandas sent by China arrive in Qatar ahead of World Cup

Qatar had been the target of a Chinese hacker group accused of sending malicious intelligence reports and hacking government websites this summer, the head of the Qatar Computer Emergency Response Team said Wednesday.

“We got a number of e-mails from our members and Qataris in China,” Kaid Hameed Al Saqr, who heads Qatar’s center for computer emergencies, told reporters. “It was a Chinese group that was sending us a lot of malicious reports about Qatar. They were targeting computer users and government workers. We have not been able to confirm the origin, but it is known to be a group called TIB, a Chinese group.”

The group, which is made up of members from Russia, Ukraine, China and the United States, has been blamed for publishing news reports blaming Qatar for corruption and for the sinking of a Ukrainian aid boat off the coast of Istanbul, which the Qatar government denied.

Al Saqr said the hacking group made the accusations through news reports or through emails to the Qataris. It was unknown if members of the group have used stolen Qatar government computers, he said.

Al Saqr would not say exactly how many computers were targeted through the hacking group’s email campaigns, but he did mention to the Associated Press that he had seen about 2,000 computer attacks linked to the hacking group.

He said the Qatar government has hired cybersecurity firm ESET to help analyze the attacks.

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