Dubai (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) - United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a decree on combating cyber crimes, state-owned news agency WAM said Monday.

The presidential decree criminalizes activities by any person who creates or runs any electronic site to send, transmit, publish or promote online any pornographic material, gambling activities and any other indecent acts, said WAM.

Cyber espionage and cyber terrorism through malware programs increased tremendously in the Middle East in recent years. Tehran has affirmed that its nuclear energy program was targeted several times by cyber viruses, blaming the United States and Israel for these attacks.

On Oct. 15, Russian anti-virus software producer Kaspersky said it discovered a cyber espionage program called mini-Flame, in reference to a bigger virus called Flame which was designed to target Middle Eastern countries.

Other viruses like Stuxnet and Gauss were also designed to spy out financial transactions the Middle East or to attack institutions in Iran in particular.

Kaspersky declined to comment on who or which organization was behind the sharp rise of IT virus attacks in the region.

In August this year, a malware program called Shamoon hit one of the world`s largest oil companies Saudi Aramco, affecting 75 percent of the firm`s PCs. Qatar`s natural gas firm RasGas was also hit by the same virus.

Kaspersky co-founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky said at an International Telecommunication Union Telecom World conference in Dubai on Oct. 15 that the cyber warfare was in full swing "and we expect it to escalate in 2013."

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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