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Hackers deface Saudi ‘Davos in the Desert’ site against Khashoggi’s death

The official website of Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative ‘Davos in the Desert’ was hit by a cyber attack in which hackers defaced its homepage to protest the brutal murder of The Washington Post’s journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey and killings of innocent civilians in Yemen.

The unknown hackers left a deface page along with a brief message on the conference’s website mimicking ISIS style execution with Saudi prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud holding a sword while Khashoggi is on his knees in an orange jumpsuit.

As a result of the attack, authorities were forced to shut down the site for a brief period of time before the conference was scheduled to take place.

“For the sake of security for children worldwide, we urge all countries to put sanction on the Saudi regime,” the defacement message on the website read. “The regime, aligned with the United States, must be kept responsible for its barbaric and inhumane action, such as killing its own citizen Jamal Khashoggi and thousands of innocent people in Yemen.” 

A full preview of the deface page left by hackers

According to CBC News producer Nahayat Tizhoosh, hackers also posted three videos on the deface page in which one of the videos showed footage of Donald Trump praising Saudi Prince Salman. All three videos were uploaded by a recently created YouTube channel called bestnews2030.

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) also known as “Davos in the Desert” is an annual investment forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to discuss trends in the world economy and investment environment. However, following the killing in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, some speakers and sponsors who had planned to attend the event withdrew pending the outcome of investigations.

It is unclear who was behind the defaced of the conference’s site, however, at the time of publishing this article; the targeted website was restored and available online.

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