UAE’s telecoms regulator says 1,054 cyber attacks foiled in 2016

The attacks sought to deface and block government websites among other goals

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has said it successfully foiled 1,054 cyber attacks last year, as the country becomes an increasing target for cyber criminals.

The attacks sought to deface and block government websites, including denial of service, hacking, deception, fraud, and identity and document theft, Mohammed Al Zarooni, director of the TRA’s policy and programmes department, told state news agency WAM.

He said 510 of the attacks targeted private companies and 463 government entities.

Attacks on the government sector included phishing and fraud, web defacement, malicious code, unauthorised access, scans, stolen credentials and others, while the private sector experienced phishing and fraud, malicious code, inappropriate content, and denial of service.

The UAE’s cyber security coordination centre, AEcert, is designed to improve the country’s defence and coordinate the sharing of information.

A study released by US security firm Symantec in November revealed 2.53 million consumers in the UAE were victims of online crime last year.

It said $1.4bn and 31.5 hours per person had been spent dealing with the consequences of cyber attacks in the country.

Read: More than 2.5m UAE consumers hit by cyber crime in the last year