As the world watched the renowned Saudi journalist’s Khashoggi Murder story unfold with horror, hackers managed to hack into the website of the Foreign Investment Initiative by the Saudi government to show a photoshopped image showing a smiling Saudi Crown prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS), wearing a robe with the words “ISIS”, holding a sword and kneeling ominously over Khashoggi. The image alluded to the murder of the journalist in cold blood.
The hackers called for sanctions on Saudi Arabia with these words:
“The regime, aligned with the United States, must be kept responsible for its barbaric and inhuman action, such as killing its own citizen Jamal Khashoggi and thousands of other innocent people in Yemen.”
The high profile conference which many of the world’s top companies and key leaders and executives were expected to attend was marred in controversy as human rights activists around the world have condemned the Saudi governments recent high profile breach of human rights. As a result, many countries have dropped out of the event as it kicked off yesterday.
Khashoggi a Saudi citizen and US permanent resident was brutally murdered and dismembered under mysterious circumstances when he visited the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The renowned Washington Post journalist was not seen after the visit which led to the investigation of his murder. While the Saudi Government has categorically denied its own role in the murder and attributed it to be a result of the journalist getting into a fight with a group of men in the Embassy premises, the recent address by Turkey’s president highlighted that evidence collected points that the murder was pre-planned and that orders for the murder likely came for the highest aide to the Saudi authorities.
Hacking has been used before as well to get a message across and the practice is also informally known as “Hacktivism”.