Warningover Expo hacker

Fake 2020 site tried to lure web users

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - By Ali Al Shouk @alial­shouk ali.shouk@7days.ae

The UAE’s tele­coms reg­u­la­tor has warned in­ter­net users about a scam in which they are urged to en­ter per­sonal de­tails into a bo­gus Expo 2020 web­site.

The Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity ( TRA) yes­ter­day said that the scam was de­tected af­ter one web user be­came sus­pi­cious, de­spite the authen­tic ap­pear­ance of the site.

Emi­rati Khalid Waleed Mo­hammed re­ported the scam to the TRA, which was able to trace the source of the site to a sus­pected hacker abroad.

Mo­hammed was not asked for cash but urged to en­ter a range of per­sonal de­tails in­clud­ing his full name, tele­phone num­ber, the name of his em­ployer with other data.

Ma­jid Sul­tan, Act­ing Di­rec­tor of the TRA, said ex­perts dis­cov­ered the site was run from out­side the UAE.

He said: “The fake web­site used the name of Expo 2020 as it’s one of the big­gest fu­ture projects in the UAE. The site was look­ing to gather in­for­ma­tion and per­sonal data from peo­ple.”

He said the TRA shut down the site within two hours. The au­thor­ity con­tacted the IP firm that hosted the site and alerted them to the in­ci­dent, af­ter which it was shut down.

Sul­tan said: “The site was blocked in the UAE within 31 min­utes and then af­ter two hours the site was erased all around the world.”

The TRA urged all res­i­dents to be care­ful and con­tact the au­thor­ity’s call if sus­pi­cious.

It is not clear how the site planned to use the in­for­ma­tion, but scam­mers of­ten at­tempt to gather per­sonal in­for­ma­tion to help guess or hack pass­words. Sul­tan added: “We are ready to deal with any elec­tronic se­cu­rity threat and ask the pub­lic to help us.”

The fake site used the name Expo 2020 as it’s one of the big­gest UAE projects

– TRA Act­ing Di­rec­tor Ma­jid Sul­tan

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