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Qatar fights back against e-crime

Ministry of Interior announces legislative, technical infrastructure to ‘mitigate’ cyber attacks

Qatar fights back against e-crime
Qatari natural gas giant RasGas was hit by a cyber attack last year.

Qatar will establish a cyber security system to combat electronic crimes, the Gulf state's Ministry of Interior (MOI) announced.

Staff Major General Saad bin Jassim Al-Khulaifi, director general of public security and chief of police, said that the MOI is creating an organised legislative environment and IT infrastructure to counteract cyber crime, Gulf Times reported.

A Cyber Crimes Investigation Centre and an Information Security Centre were established, while there will also be training sessions in cyber security. According to Al-Khulaifi, cyber security is essential for safeguarding the general public.

Universities and international institutions are also going to be involved in the project. The MOI has recommended the establishment of a research chair in cyber security at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMUQ).

"As the Qatari economy grows, Qatar will become an increasingly tempting target for cyber attacks, and must thus be ready to effectively mitigate such threats. Such an initiative will help in deploying strong defences to protect the critical cyber infrastructure in Qatar," Thierry Sans, computer science professor at CMUQ, told Arabian Business Qatar.

Qatari natural gas giant RasGas was hit by a cyber attack last year. Some theories have linked the malware that infected 30,000 computers at oil company Saudi Aramco in 2012 with the RasGas attack. At least two computers in Qatar were also infected by another cyber weapon, Flame, a spying programme that secretly collects information from a wide variety of sources.

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