US government hack: 'some entities in UAE attacked'

UAE's Cyber Security Council is helping to investigate SolarWinds attack and taking all precautions to protect country's infrastructure

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Some entities in the UAE were caught up in the biggest hack of US government agencies, the National Cyber Security Council said on Monday.

Hackers gained access to the networks of several US government agencies and about 18,000 other clients of technology company SolarWinds by hiding malicious code in a software update.

Analysts have accused Russian hackers but Moscow has denied any role.

"The Cyber Security Council would like to note its acknowledgement of the SolarWinds attack, where it has proactively worked on the case in collaboration with relevant entities in the UAE, in order to investigate and assess what happened," the council told state news agency Wam.

"It has been shown that some UAE-based entities were attacked, and as such necessary measures were taken to deal with these incidents and secure constituencies.

"In parallel, the teams involved began communicating with SolarWinds and global partners from security organisations and technical service providers to follow progress on the matter, obtain information and act to contain the incident."

This month, Microsoft president Brad Smith said the attack "unfortunately represents a broad and successful espionage-based assault on both the confidential information of the US Government and the tech tools used by firms to protect them".

While about 80 per cent of the victims were in the US, others were hit in Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Spain, the UK, Israel and the UAE, Microsoft said.

On Monday, the council said it was "taking all precautions and procedures necessary to safeguard the UAE's digital infrastructure".

It called on public and private sectors to follow cyber-security guidelines, promptly update systems, protect networks and alert the national computer emergency response team in the event of an incident.