12:57 GMT08 April 2020
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    Thousands of people in the Middle East received unsolicited text messages calling for the death of America and Jews as a result of a 2013 hack of an international telecommunications firm, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

    According to the report, in April an unknown hacker tried to send the message "Our motto forever Death to America, Death to the Jews" to some four million people using data stolen from SMSGlobal in 2013. While the firm was able to block most of the messages, around five thousand made their way to numbers in the United Arab Emirates.

    SMSGlobal said that no message history, data or any other personal customer data was taken as a consequence of the breaches.

    The company is based in Australia, but has a strong presence in the Emirates, along with offices in Great Britain and the United States. It provides messaging services for brands like Samsung, Microsoft, IBM, Dell and law enforcement agencies around the world.

    A letter obtained by the Guardian from SMSGlobal to the Dubai telecommunications company DU following the April 2015 breach said text messages had been received with "malicious content" arising from a number of accounts.

    It said the April 2015 breach was attributed to the "use of a brute force attack" to penetrate accounts due to a "number of vulnerabilities." The company listed a number of measures it had taken to remedy future breaches, but warned that the threat of additional brute force attacks lingers.

    Indeed, a third attack occurred in September, the Guardian reported. The hackers tried to send a text message that said "mismanagement by Saudi officials was the reason for the death of the hajjaj in Mina" – a reference to the deaths of almost 2,000 Hajj pilgrims in September. It is unclear how many of the messages were successfully sent.

    Middle East, text messages, cell phones, data breach, hacking attack, Hacker, SMSGlobal, United Arab Emirates
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