In online ruse, fake journalists tried to hack Saudi critic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers impersonating journalists tried to intercept the communications of a prominent Saudi opposition figure in Washington.

An Associated Press review of malicious emails sent to activist Ali AlAhmed shows he was approached by hackers masquerading as a BBC representative and as Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed last month at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The emails were attempts to break into AlAhmed’s inbox. AlAhmed blames the Saudi government for the hacking campaign, although the AP has yet to find any forensic evidence to back that.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not immediately return written questions.

Pretending to be journalists carries a significant risk that goes beyond the reporters involved. Elodie Vialle of Reporters Without Borders says such tactics have a “chilling effect.”

Associated Press

Associated Press

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