In Persian Gulf, computer hacking now a cross-border fear

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Tony Cole, Vice President of FireEye Inc., a cybersecurity firm headquartered in Milpitas, California, speaks at the FireEye Cyber Defence Live conference, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Tony Cole, Vice President of FireEye Inc., a cybersecurity firm headquartered in Milpitas, California, speaks at the FireEye Cyber Defence Live conference, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) – State-sponsored hacks have become an increasing worry among countries across the Persian Gulf. They include suspected Iranian cyberattacks on Saudi Arabia to leaked emails causing consternation among nominally allied Arab nations.

Defending against such attacks have become a major industry in Dubai, as the city-state home to the world’s tallest building and the long-haul airline Emirates increasingly bills itself as an interconnected “smart city” where robots now deliver wedding certificates.

They fear a massive attack on the scale of what Saudi Arabia suffered through in 2012 with Shamoon, a computer virus that destroyed systems of the kingdom’s state-run oil company.

This was the topic of an event Tuesday, Sept. 12, in Dubai organized by FireEye Inc., a cybersecurity firm headquartered in Milpitas, California. Emirati officials and businessmen attended the meeting.