U.S. suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis

US officials say the Russian goal appears to be to cause rifts among the US and its allies. In recent months, suspected Russian cyber activities, including the use of fake news stories, have turned up amid elections in France, Germany and other countries.

It’s not yet clear whether the US has tracked the hackers in the Qatar incident to Russian criminal organizations or to the Russian security services blamed for the US election hacks. One official noted that based on past intelligence, “not much happens in that country without the blessing of the government.”…

The Qatari government has said a May 23 news report on its Qatar News Agency attributed false remarks to the nation’s ruler that appeared friendly to Iran and Israel and questioned whether President Donald Trump would last in office.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the FBI has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.