UAE issues cyberattack warning to public and private sectors

The UAE Cybersecurity Council warned of groups targeting national digital infrastructure

The UAE says awareness helps to confront the dangers of cybercrime to the public and private sector. PA
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The UAE's online security task force has called on the public and private sector to be on high alert against the threat of cyberattacks.

The UAE Cybersecurity Council on Saturday warned organisations of malicious activities against “national digital infrastructure and assets”.

The council urged public and private entities to activate the Emirates' emergency response system, which would involve sharing data with authorities to limit the prospect of incidents.

“The council stressed the importance of confronting cyberattacks by vital sectors, in addition to activating protection systems and cybersecurity policies and raising the awareness of the authorities about any suspicious electronic activities that may harm their systems,” the council said in a statement carried by state news agency Wam.

Cybercrime has emerged as a threat in recent years to individuals, businesses and government departments.

Online offenders use increasingly sophisticated techniques to break into systems and gather what may be sensitive data.

The UAE has made strides in its efforts to combat online crime.

Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, the government's head of cybersecurity, said this week that the country prevents more than 50,000 attacks each day.

What is cyber crime and how can I protect myself online?

What is cyber crime and how can I protect myself online?

He said the banking, financial, health, oil and gas sectors are the most at risk.

In March, Mr Al Kuwaiti said, ransomware attacks in the UAE declined more than 70 per cent at the start of 2023, compared with the same period a year ago.

The figure is also the same rate of decline as at the start of 2021, with the government boosting co-operation with international agencies, most notably Interpol, to protect the country's cyberspace, he said.

The use of ransomware — a type of malicious software that takes over a system and demands a payment for it to be restored — continues to grow.

Ransomware operators have grown from small hacker groups to entire corporations, software company Group-IB said in a recent report.

Updated: May 06, 2023, 12:10 PM