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Saudi Arabia hires 'ethical hackers' to silence smut slingers

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice strikes again

By Darren Pauli, 5 Jan 2015

Saudi Arabia's prude police have hired ethical hackers to pop hedonistic Twitter accounts identified for spruiking smut leading to arrests.

The crackdown reported by Emirates24 was led by the religious police which hired the hackers to obtain personal details of Twitter users.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice claimed it closed 9000 smut-slinging Twitter accounts.

"The Commission members have succeeded in hacking Twitter pornography accounts, shutting them and arresting some of their owners over the past period," an unnamed spokesman told the publication.

The agency did not say how it compromised the users, either through the use of malware or by softer methods such as open source intelligence gathering.

An unspecified number of citizens and expatriates were arrested who had alleged links to alcohol use and gambling.

Those arrested could face up to five years jail or a $US 800,000 fine.

The country has been cracking down on online pornography in recent years including the shuttering of local access to some 400,000 smut sites in 2013.

Authorities had attempted to target the porn proliferators among its more than 5 million-strong Twitter and eight million-strong Facebook population through methods including setting 'traps' to identify offenders. ®

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