Dubai police say they arrest hackers targeting White House staff 

 Dubai police have arrested foreign hackers who targeted five senior White House officials in a blackmail email scam, state-owned media reported.

Published: 03rd April 2017 09:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2017 09:12 PM   |  A+A-

cyber crime, Hackers, Cyber bullying

Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo | Reuters)

By Associated Press

DUBAI: Dubai police have arrested foreign hackers who targeted five senior White House officials in a blackmail email scam, state-owned media reported on Monday.

The Arabic-language Al Bayan newspaper and the television channel Dubai One reported the arrests, while Dubai police did not answer repeated calls for comment. The arrests come as the United Arab Emirates, which hosts some 4,000 U.S. troops fighting the Islamic State group, remains a crucial regional ally.

The White House had no immediate comment on the reports.

Al Bayan quoted Maj. Saud al-Khalidi of Dubai police's cybercrime division as saying an "African gang" broke into the emails of the five senior officials and "got highly confidential information." He said the hackers then demanded money from their targets in threatening emails. The U.S. then asked Dubai police for assistance.

Al-Khalidi was quoted as saying that investigators tracked down the gang "in two hours" to an apartment in the emirate of Ajman and arrested three suspects with the help of local authorities.

"Police reportedly faced resistance from the hackers but they were effectively subdued and arrested," Dubai One reported in its nightly newscast. "Police say this was not their first operation, although it was their first offense here in the UAE. The hackers allegedly made it a business to sell information they managed to extract, moving from one country to another after every cyberattack."

Those arrested are between 24 and 26 years of age and had a list of "5 million bank accounts," as well as hacking software and millions of dollars in assets, al-Khalidi said.

The reports did not identify the White House officials targeted. Al-Khalidi reportedly said those suspects would be handed over to the United States for possible criminal trials.

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi did not respond to requests for comment.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp