Dubai Police cyber crime division deals with 9,000 reports in first year

The force's e-crime platform helped hundreds of residents who fell victim to hackers

Dubai Police helped restore the social media accounts of hundreds of people targeted by hackers in the past 12 months. AFP
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An online division set up by Dubai Police to tackle the growing threat of cyber crime has received more than 9,000 reports from the public in its first 12 months in operation.

The e-crime platform - which went live on May 1 of last year - has dealt with a total of 9,046 complaints, with 1,277 of those from people whose social media accounts had been hacked.

The vast majority of those complaints related to attacks on WhatsApp accounts.

Police managed to restore the accounts targeted by cyber criminals.

On Wednesday, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority urged users to update their WhatsApp accounts immediately to avoid being hacked.

The warning came after it emerged an Israeli firm had developed surveillance software which could be installed on mobiles and other devices via a phone call.

The malware is understood to be so advanced that those targeted by hackers did not even need to answer the WhatsApp call to fall victim.

The police's online platform has been set up to handle a wide range of crimes which develop on the internet, from threats made online to scams.

“Dubai Police has launched new technologies in various sectors to protect the community. These have contributed significantly in the process of speeding response to this type of crimes and communications,” said captain Abdullah Al Shehhi, of Dubai Police.

Dubai Police launched the e-crime initiative in partnership with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Dubai Electronic Security Centre.

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