NEW YORK: A United Arab Emirates senior diplomat denied on
Thursday the country had targeted “friendly countries” or
American citizens in a cyberspying program that a Reuters report
said involved a hacking team of US mercenaries.
The Reuters investigation published on Wednesday found that the UAE
used a group of American intelligence contractors to help hack
rival governments, dissidents and human rights activists. The
contractors, former US intelligence operatives, formed a core part
of UAE’s cyberhacking program called Project Raven.
Project Raven also targeted Americans, and the Apple Inc. iPhones
of embassy staff for France, Australia and the United Kingdom,
according to former operatives and program documents reviewed by
Apple has declined to comment and did not immediately respond to a
request for comment on Thursday.
When asked about Project Raven by reporters at a briefing in New
York, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash
acknowledged the country has a “cyber capability,” but denied
targeting US citizens or countries with which it has good
“We live in a very difficult part of the world. We have to
protect ourselves,” Gargash said. “We don’t target friendly
countries and we don’t target American citizens.”
The French and UK embassies in Washington have declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for the Australian ministry of foreign affairs has
declined to comment. The US State Department did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.
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Source: *FS – All – Science News Net
UAE senior diplomat denies hacking ‘friendly countries’