Journalists, lawyers, former president of the UEFAAnd the Michel Platiniand one French Senator They were targeted by hackers appointed to protect Qatar’s reputation in the context of organizing the 2022 World Cup. Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Sunday times They gained access to the gang’s database, which reveals the sheer scale of the attacks.
The disclosure shows that criminals targeted the private email accounts of more than 100 victims.
these characters They were spied on because of their critical positions regarding the assignment and organization of the FIFA World Cup by Qatar, Which will start on November 20.
especially, The treatment of foreign workers in work related to competition or abuse of women’s rights and LGBT people is questioned.
Among the characters are the victims of these digital hackers Journalists, such as Jonathan Calvert – from The Sunday Times– Who investigated the corruption maneuvers that led to Qatar winning the competition in 2010.
also French Senator Natalie Gaultwhich accused Qatar of financing “Islamic terrorism” and Hungarian-American lawyer Mark Somoswho filed a complaint against the Qatari royal family with United Nations High Council of Human Rights.
platinumchief at the time UEFA And a big defender of Qatar’s candidacy to organize the World Cup, he would also have been spied on.
According to the data he recovered Sunday timesThe hacking of email boxes or remote control of the microphones and computer cameras of about fifty personalities since December 2019 by a group of Indian Internet hackers.
The hacker gang, operating under the name WhiteInt, is run from a fourth-floor apartment in a suburb of the Indian tech city. gurugram. his brain says Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Sunday times, he is Aditya JainThe 31-year-old is a cybersecurity expert who occasionally works for the Indian office of British accounting firm Deloitte.
for seven years, Jain runs a network of hackers hired by British investigators to steal email boxes of their targets using “phishing” techniques.. Sometimes your computer spreads malware that takes control of computers’ cameras and microphones, allowing them to see and listen to their victims.
Earlier this year, reporters undercover from Sunday times They traveled to India pretending to be corporate investigators looking to hire a computer hacker and contacted several suspected cybercriminals, including Jane, and began a protracted exchange of messages.
Offer access to closed source information from email and PDI computers [persona de interés] anywhere in the world… the average duration is about 20 to 30 days,” promised Jain who gave details about one of his projects related to FIFA, the governing body for football and the organizer of the World Cup: “I have successfully obtained email data from some Eminent Persons (associated with FIFA) in the United Kingdom, at the request of a client sponsored by one of the Gulf countries.”
He also confirmed that the final customer is Qatar.
Adds Sunday Times revelations to another Swiss media investigation SRF s Swiss infoAnd the news agency APAnd the who revealed it The State of Qatar ordered merciless project To achieve a candidacy for the World Cup after massive criticism sparked by the concession of the tournament by FIFA to the controversial country in 2010.
The plan was huge: The budget amounted to 387 million dollars. Activities spanned across five continents. Indeed, higher levels of the Qatari government have been implicated in espionage activities, including the current head of state, the Emir of Qatar.
The documents show that the project wanted to make sure there was nothing that could jeopardize the celebration of 2022 World Cup in Qatar. To achieve this, It hired the US private company Kevin Chalker, Global Risk Advisors (GRA).
Chalker’s goal, according to APto improve Qatar’s image while undermining critics who accused the Gulf monarchy of financing terrorists and other wrongdoing.
Agency AP s ESPN As they revealed it The FBI investigates the activities of global risk advisors.
The spies hacked into email accounts, computers and phones and interrogated friends and even relatives of FIFA officials and advisors.
According to documents reviewed by the SRF, the heir to the throne at the time and current Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani personally ordered that the phone records and text messages of several members of FIFA’s executive committee be obtained before the World Cup was awarded.
According to the Associated Press, the FBI has been investigating Chalker for several months. In addition to potential violations of the law in the area of lobbying and the export of sensitive technology, investigators are focusing on the surveillance activities that Chalker is carrying out on behalf of Qatar.
The SRF investigation also found that the key person in the upcoming World Cup, Hassan Al ThawadiHe was supervising the espionage operation for Qatar. Al Thawadi was the CEO of the World Cup winning bid and the current Secretary General of the Supreme Committee, the organizing body for the World Cup in Qatar.
“Hardcore web nerd. Twitteraholic. Analyst. Reader. Coffee guru. Travel ninja. Amateur troublemaker. Zombie geek.”