Everyone visiting Qatar for the World Cup needs to install spyware on their phone.
Everyone travelling to Qatar during the football World Cup will be asked to download two apps called Ehteraz and Hayya.
Briefly, Ehteraz is an covid-19 tracking app, while Hayya is an official World Cup app used to keep track of match tickets and to access the free Metro in Qatar.
In particular, the covid-19 app Ehteraz asks for access to several rights on your mobile., like access to read, delete or change all content on the phone, as well as access to connect to WiFi and Bluetooth, override other apps and prevent the phone from switching off to sleep mode.
The Ehteraz app, which everyone over 18 coming to Qatar must download, also gets a number of other accesses such as an overview of your exact location, the ability to make direct calls via your phone and the ability to disable your screen lock.
The Hayya app does not ask for as much, but also has a number of critical aspects. Among other things, the app asks for access to share your personal information with almost no restrictions. In addition, the Hayya app provides access to determine the phone’s exact location, prevent the device from going into sleep mode, and view the phone’s network connections.
Despite what the article says, I don’t know how mandatory this actually is. I know people who visited Saudi Arabia when that country had a similarly sketchy app requirement. Some of them just didn’t bother downloading the apps, and were never asked about it at the border.
Posted on October 18, 2022 at 6:57 AM •
Interesting paper on recent hack-and-leak operations attributed to the UAE:
Abstract: Four hack-and-leak operations in U.S. politics between 2016 and 2019, publicly attributed to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, should be seen as the “simulation of scandal” —deliberate attempts to direct moral judgement against their target. Although “hacking” tools enable easy access to secret information, they are a double-edged sword, as their discovery means the scandal becomes about the hack itself, not about the hacked information. There are wider consequences for cyber competition in situations of constraint where both sides are strategic partners, as in the case of the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf.
Posted on August 13, 2020 at 9:28 AM •
The first two affected India, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain. The third one is between the UAE and Oman. The fourth one connected Qatar and the UAE. This one may not have been cut, but taken offline due to power issues.
The first three have been blamed on ships’ anchors, but there is some dispute about that. And that’s two in the Mediterranean and two in the Persian Gulf.
There have been no official reports of malice to me, but it’s an awfully big coincidence. The fact that Iran has lost Internet connectivity only makes this weirder.
EDITED TO ADD (2/5): The International Herald Tribune has more. And a comment below questions whether Iran being offline has anything to do with this.
EDITED TO ADD (2/5): A fifth cut? What the hell is going on out there?
EDITED TO ADD (2/5): More commentary from Steve Bellovin.
EDITED TO ADD (2/5): Just to be clear: Iran is not offline. That was an untrue rumor; it was never true.
Posted on February 5, 2008 at 8:28 PM •
I can’t believe I forgot to blog this great article about the communications intercept trade show in DC earlier this month:
“You really need to educate yourself,” he insisted. “Do you think this stuff doesn’t happen in the West? Let me tell you something. I sell this equipment all over the world, especially in the Middle East. I deal with buyers from Qatar, and I get more concern about proper legal procedure from them than I get in the USA.”
Read the whole thing.
Posted on June 29, 2006 at 1:43 PM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.