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‘Hacking group’ targeting critics of the World Cup in Qatar: Report

According to a British journalist investigation, an Indian hacking ring specifically targeted Qatar World Cup detractors. The hacking of a dozen attorneys, journalists, and well-known individuals is revealed through a database that was provided to the Sunday Times and Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Former European football president Michel Platini was one of many who came under attack. The Qatari government denies any involvement in the eavesdropping’s commissioning.

He said that he will investigate all available legal options over what seemed to be a major ‘violation’ of his privacy. According to the Sunday Times’ article based on the joint investigation, consultant Ghanem Nuseibeh of London, whose business Cornerstone published a report on corruption related to the World Cup, was also targeted. They included Mark Somos, an attorney, and Nathalie Goulet, a senator from France who had complained to the UN Human Rights Council against the Qatari royal family.

100+ people were targeted;
The Indian Express, a leading daily in India, has claimed that more than 100 individuals connected to the Qatar 2022 World Cup had their private email accounts compromised. According to the publication, hackers employed ‘phishing’ methods to enter their email inboxes. They then used malicious software to commandeer their computer microphones and webcams.

Politicians working with Russian-related problems, such the former finance minister of Britain, Philip Hammond, were among them. When he was dealing with the fallout from the 2018 Novichok attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal, which the UK has blamed on Russia, he was attacked. Days after the president met with then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss Russian sanctions, the Swiss president and his deputy were also compromised.

‘No evidence’
An spokesperson from Qatar denied the accusations, calling the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s (TBIJ) study ‘littered with apparent errors and inaccuracies that damage the integrity of their organisation’. It asserts to have found corruption in Qatar, an oil-rich Gulf nation. The person added there are substantial questions regarding TBIJ’s motivations because the report was published without any evidence connecting it to Qatar.



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