The Sylhet Gang, a self-proclaimed hacktivist group, has asserted responsibility for a cyberattack on the Ministry of Defence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to their claim posted on Telegram, the group declared that they had successfully paralyzed the ministry’s website and used the hashtag #DecemberStorm, hinting at possible future attacks. Despite their assertions, the ministry’s website appears to be functioning without any signs of compromise.
This incident adds to a series of cyberattacks targeting UAE-based organizations, particularly government agencies and critical infrastructure, by Islamic-backed hacker and hacktivist groups. In addition to the alleged hack on the UAE Ministry of Defence, the Sylhet Gang has also claimed to target the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as part of their cyber campaign. The group accused the UAE ministries of having a relationship with what they term as “Zionist entities,” a reference to Israel, showcasing the fusion of cybersecurity with geopolitical tensions.
Cybersecurity analysts perceive this series of attacks, including the UAE Ministry of Defence hack, as driven by support for Israel and opposition to perceived Zionist entities. The Sylhet Gang, known for past cyberattacks on countries such as Israel, India, France, Ukraine, South Korea, Italy, and the United States, has previously targeted entities with perceived ties to Israel. In their #DecemberStorm DDoS campaign, the group pledges to continue targeting countries and organizations supporting Israel until the Israeli occupation ceases, showcasing the ideological motivation behind their cyber activities.
This cyber threat underscores the evolving landscape of geopolitical cyber conflicts, emphasizing the necessity for global cooperation and robust cybersecurity measures to counter such threats effectively.