By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Hackers zap official Iraqi websites with cyberattacks

Hack attacks are growing at the speed of 5G across the globe, and Iraq has been hard-hit lately.

The official website of controversial Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was hacked Jan. 6 after he called for his followers to activate the Mahdi Army to fight US troops.

His call followed the US assassination of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The hackers put Iraqi-US flags on the homepage, writing: “Iran no more.”

That intrusion came just weeks after several other attacks on official Iraqi websites — including the prime minister’s.

Click here to read the full article.

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Hackers zap official Iraqi websites with cyberattacks

Hack attacks are growing at the speed of 5G across the globe, and Iraq has been hard-hit lately.

The official website of controversial Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was hacked Jan. 6 after he called for his followers to activate the Mahdi Army to fight US troops.

His call followed the US assassination of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The hackers put Iraqi-US flags on the homepage, writing: “Iran no more.”

That intrusion came just weeks after several other attacks on official Iraqi websites — including the prime minister’s.

Click here to read the full article.

Iraqi experts were trained on cyber defence at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey to improve their expertise and technical knowledge and to contribute to the strengthening of Iraqi national cyber defence capabilities. This course was supported by the Science for Peace and security (SPS) Programme.

Addressing Iraq’s needs

This training course aimed at Iraqi system/network administrators was tailored specifically to Iraq’s needs by focusing on its cyber security and defence requirements presented to NATO. Overall, 16 civil servants from the new Iraqi Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) were trained during the course.

The hands-on training programme included both theoretical sessions as well as practical laboratory exercises of core aspects of cyber defence, including cryptanalysis, prevention of data exfiltration, advanced digital forensics, and conducting vulnerability assessment.

Mr Aldulsamad, Director of the CIRT, remarked “we appreciate the broad approach that covered cyber security as a whole because it enabled each expert to be exposed to areas that are very different from the one they specialise in, together with the security implications that they have to be aware of in order to be better equipped at tackling their everyday challenges.”

The course focused on raising cyber security awareness and provided the trainees with the expertise and technical knowledge to help increase resilience of their national networks. Upon their return, the trainees will be able to apply the gained knowledge in the daily operation of their institutions thereby significantly contributing to the strengthening of Iraqi national cyber defence capabilities.

By Omar al-Jaffal, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.v

Are Iraq’s Politicians to Blame for Baghdad Terror Attacks?

On May 11, the Iraqi capital was the scene of three terror attacks, each bomb targeting different areas on both sides of the Tigris River that separates the city. The death toll has reached terrifying numbers with more than 100 people killed, including women and children, and around 170 injured. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for all three attacks.

The most deadly attack occurred in the Shiite-majority Sadr City east of Baghdad, where 64 people were killed and 87 injured, some of whom severely, security sources told Al-Monitor the day after the attack.

This bomb attack targeted the popular Arriba market, which is surrounded by a concrete barrier of 3 meters (roughly 10 feet) high that prevent cars from entering. However, witnesses told Al-Monitor that the explosion was caused by a car bomb close to the entrance gate where there is a lot of foot traffic.

Hakim al-Zamili, member of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, said in a statement hours after the bombing, “The [series] of bombings that targeted the poor in Sadr City [came as a response] to their legitimate demands for removing the corrupt, the partisan and the incompetent persons in charge of security and [the politicians] clinging to their positions in power.”

Zamili hails from Sadr City and his family still lives there; he is one of the strongest supporters of the ongoing demonstrations against the government, which explains his angry statement against the government and security leaders.

Nina -iraq has been hacked. This is not a simple sabotage. In a hacking attempt similar to the one that saw data being stripped from the US government a few days ago the entire server of this leading, bilingual Iraqi magazine has been corrupted, bringing down many other sites also.

Nina has been fending off constant cyber threats since January this year. Recent publication of features such as Women’s Inheritance Rights and cartoons against ISIS have enjoyed huge popularity in Iraq and also world-wide. As the reach of the ground breaking women’s economic empowerment community and magazine grows hacking attempts have increased exponentially.

Nina threatens the extremist elements of Islamic militants. It provides a narrative in English and Arabic that builds up and empowers, not just women, but civil society as a whole. It stands in direct contradiction to the pro-ISIS propaganda that is flooding social media. Nina is part of the battle for hope, hearts and minds. It is important that this voice continues to be heard.

Strategic partners Iraq Business News have featured many Nina’s articles . Nina’s print magazines can be seen here English and Arabic. A more comprehensive introduction to Nina can be found here.

Show Your Support For Nina-iraq.com by giving a shoutout – hit that tweet button!  #saveninairaq

About Nina

Nina is a bilingual women’s economic empowerment magazine which launched last June in Iraq as well as England and Sweden.   Nina inspires, empowers and educates Iraqi women by giving voices from Iraq and across the world a forum in which they can collaborate to create a better future for their nation – past, present and future.  It is a universally relevant digital and printed media-tool ; focussed on building awareness and solutions around real issues affecting real people.

Published by Iraqi NGO the Private Sector Development Centre (PSDC), The World Bank funded the first issue. SIDA (via Chamber Trade Sweden) has contributed towards 2015. Nina shows significant month on month growth. In January we had 8000 readers and a community of 14,000 on Facebook. May’s userbase has grown to 13,000 – with over 30,000 likes on Nina’s Facbeook page.

For more information contact madeleine white on nina.madeleinewhite@gmail.com  +447904835188