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Trial postponed for suspects in hack targeting security agencies.

Summary: The trial of three men accused of being involved in a major hacking operation that targeted Lebanese banks, government institutions and security agencies was postponed Wednesday until March 19.

BEIRUT: The trial of three men accused of being involved in a major hacking operation that targeted Lebanese banks, government institutions and security agencies was postponed Wednesday until March 19. The trial was adjourned after State Security failed to appoint a representative for the case. For the trial to move forward, a representative from each of the security services needs to be present.

The lawyer for Khalil Sehnaoui, one of the three suspects, had also asked for a psychiatric evaluation of his client, but the authorized psychiatrist failed to provide the necessary report.

Sehnaoui, along with Rami Saqr and Ihab Chamas are being tried at the Military Tribunal headed by Brig. Gen. Hussein Abdullah, based on an indictment issued in October by then-Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda.

According to the indictment, Saqr and Chamas are accused of hacking websites belonging to the Internal Security Forces, General Security and State Security, at the request of Sehnaoui.

During investigations, Saqr and Chamas insisted that they were following Sehnaoui's orders in the attacks on security institutions and Ogero, the state-run telecoms company. The Ogero case is being tried separately in a civilian court.

Saqr has alleged that Sehnaoui provided him with all the tools to conduct the operation, including the necessary program to infiltrate security institutions.

Sehnaoui denied responsibility for the hacking. In his testimony, Sehnaoui said Saqr was an employee at Krypton Security. Sehnaoui, who is one of the company's co-founders, did not deny having provided him with tools and programs that would allow him to infiltrate security agencies' networks. But he maintained he did not order any hacking.

The original indictment recommended that the defendants serve 15 years of hard labor for the crime.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jan 24, 2019
Words:330
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