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Mon 21 Apr 2014 10:29 AM

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Hackers target Algerian president in Oman state news agency attack

Investigation launched into “inaccurate news” which claimed Sultan Qaboos had called Bouteflika a dictator

Hackers target Algerian president in Oman state news agency attack
Newly re-elected Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. (Getty Images)

An investigation has been launched after Oman’s state news agency was targeted by cyber attackers and used to send “inaccurate news” about newly re-elected Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

In a story posted on the Oman News Agency (ONA) website on Sunday, it was claimed Oman's Sultan Qaboos had sent a letter to congratulating Bouteflika on being re-elected for a fourth term, but had referred to him as a "handicapped" president of the "dictatorship" of Algeria, regional newspapers and the AFP news agency said.

The Bouteflika story was soon removed and the ONA issued a statement claiming it had been the victim of a cyber attack.

"We would like to draw the attention of our subscribers that the ONA website has been hacked and inaccurate news is being released which harms the credibility of the agency. ONA affirms that the hacking of its website was beyond its control and that investigation was going on to identify the hackers and the reason behind such act,” the statement said.

"ONA regrets any inconvenience caused by such hacking and it reaffirms that release of news would continue with accuracy, preciseness and honesty and respect for other countries."

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