Connect with us

Cyber Security

Four in 10 UAE Consumers Experienced Online Fraud Attempts: Visa-Dubai Police-DED Survey

Published

on

While almost four in 10 UAE consumers have experienced online fraud attempts in the past year, trust and usage of digital payments both in-store and online see no signs of ceasing as consumers still prefer them over cash, citing improved technology, and security measures as reasons why they still feel more secure with these methods of payment. These findings were revealed in the 2021 Stay Secure survey launched today by Visa, Dubai Police, and Dubai Economy (DED).

Cash is unlikely to return to its previous high level of use
According to the study, the use of cash in the UAE continues to decline. While eCommerce and contactless payments have increased in popularity and use since the start of the pandemic, paying by Cash on Delivery (COD) has declined significantly (75%), while the use of digital payments (contactless cards + mobile wallets) for payment online or on delivery has almost doubled (by an average of 98%). Consumer feedback reinforces the belief that there is no reversal of this trend, with 40% of consumers saying they are less likely to use COD and 45% are more likely to use contactless payment methods in the future.

Trust driving consumer preference in contactless and digital payments, but some concerns remain
Nearly two-thirds of consumers (63%) have high level of confidence in digital payments (contactless cards and mobile wallets) for shopping in-store and payment on delivery, an increase since the start of the pandemic. Top reasons consumers gave for their trust in contactless include convenience (60%), speed (59%), control (the card or mobile never leaves consumer’s hand during transaction) (46%), avoiding human touch (56%) and innovative way to pay (48%).

Biometrically-verified payments – such as mobile wallets – also scored high with consumers with more than a third (67%) saying it is secure, and 60% saying it gives them complete control as it never leaves their hand in a transaction and eliminates the hassle of having to remember passwords.

Knowledge of the technology that protects digital payments is a driver of consumer trust. Among consumers who trust digital payments, a majority (52%) said having knowledge of underlying security technologies that protect digital payments, such as tokenization, helps build their confidence in cashless options. Those who do not have adequate levels of knowledge of the technology, still have lagging doubts about the safety of digital payments. For example, 47% fear misuse of lost or stolen contactless cards mostly due to a lack of understanding of how the technology work (27%). These findings reinforce the importance of continual education on safe digital payment practices among consumers to maintain their trust.

Consumers’ experience with fraud
The survey also sheds light on consumers’ experiences with fraud, with 39% of UAE consumers surveyed admitting they have experienced an online fraud attempt. Around a quarter of consumers (27%) have experienced phishing, while just under a fifth have experienced credit card fraud (19%) and receiving counterfeit goods (17%). In the event of fraud, informing the bank (67%) or customer service (58%) and changing their password/PIN (72%) are the most important actions consumers are likely to take. As a testament to the trust consumers have in local law enforcement, half of UAE consumers said they would contact the authorities in the event of fraud.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department in Dubai Police, said, “As people spend more and more time online – including many for the first time, fraudsters are using this as an opportunity to exploit consumers’ fears and lack of knowledge. We strongly believe that government authorities, the private sector and local communities all have an important role to play in raising awareness among UAE residents. Dubai Police is delighted to once again partner with Visa and Dubai Economy on the Stay Secure initiative, which will help strengthen our efforts to reduce online fraud and cybercrime in the UAE and ensure a safe and secure digital economy for everyone.”

Ahmad Al Zaabi, Director of Consumer Protection in Dubai Economy, said, “Shopping in Dubai presents a remarkable opportunity for retail innovations as it involves a vast and varied customer demographics and businesses. At Dubai Economy we focus on making shopping in the city a pleasant experience and we have leveraged every opportunity, including the increase in online shopping in the aftermath of COVID-19, to encourage consumers to enjoy the benefits of cashless and contactless shopping. The partnership with Visa enables us to track consumer behaviour and we are delighted to see confidence in digital payments rising steadily, which in turn will accelerate the ongoing digital transformation in Dubai.”

Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented, “As our survey results indicate, consumers have fully embraced digital payments in the COVID-19 era but that does not come without risks. As consumers shift online, fraudsters have sought opportunities to exploit these changes in how people pay for goods and services. This is why constant consumer education is so much more important than ever before. The fact that 1 in 2 consumers surveyed would contact law enforcement in the event of fraud is a credit to the diligent efforts of our partners Dubai Police and Dubai Economy, who are committed to keeping consumers safe and empowering them to use digital payments and online channels with confidence. However, as an industry we cannot afford to let our guard down. Our ongoing Stay Secure campaign is our effort in bringing together all participants in the payments ecosystem to work together to advance efforts to educate consumers on how to stay vigilant, identify potential fraud, and what actions they should take if they are affected.”

Cyber Security

Cybersecurity Collaboration Holds Immense Significance in Today’s Threat Landscape

Published

on

Ertug Ayik, the VP and MD of Middle East and Africa at HP, speaks about the security threat landscape in the region and what companies can do to keep these threats at bay

Tell us about the security threat landscape in the region. How has it evolved over the years?
The security threat landscape in our region, like many others, has evolved significantly over the years. We have witnessed a shift from primarily isolated attacks to a complex and interconnected threat landscape. Threat actors are becoming more sophisticated, and attacks are increasingly targeted and financially motivated.

Emerging technologies, such as IoT and cloud computing, have introduced new attack vectors. The shift to the cloud has also made cybercrime easier, cheaper, and more profitable. Traditional security measures have focused on detecting malware to prevent attackers from gaining access to critical systems. Over the last year, we have seen signs of increased development and trading capabilities – from tools to hack BIOS passwords, to rootkits and trojans targeting device firmware.

Organizations must adapt to this dynamic environment by implementing proactive security measures and staying informed about evolving threats. Increased resiliency, meaning, the ability to respond to hackers who have managed to exploit a vulnerability, is key.

What sort of role does the security community play in countering cyber threats?
The security community plays a crucial role in countering cyber threats. It serves as a collective defence mechanism against the ever-evolving threat landscape. Security professionals, researchers, organizations, and governments collaborate to share threat intelligence, insights, and best practices. This collaboration fosters a deeper understanding of emerging threats, enables rapid response to incidents, and enhances detection and mitigation capabilities.

Additionally, the security community contributes to raising awareness about cybersecurity and promoting proactive defence strategies. HP Sure Click, one of our key security solutions, not only protects users from various cyberattacks but also contributes to this collaborative ecosystem. Its containment-based approach enables us to capture and analyse malware execution traces, providing valuable insights to the security community. Collaboration with industry experts and leveraging threat intelligence providers empower us at HP to better identify and evaluate emerging threats before they pose significant risks.

Tell us about HP’s HP Sure Click. How does it help in keeping security threats at bay?
HP Sure Click is a groundbreaking security solution that plays a pivotal role in safeguarding against security threats. It leverages cutting-edge micro-virtual machine technology to create secure environments for handling untrusted content. By isolating potentially malicious activities within these secure micro-VMs, HP Sure Click prevents threats from spreading to other parts of a network.

HP Sure Click goes beyond safeguarding web browsers; it extends its protection to cover documents like PDFs and Microsoft Office files. This approach ensures that even if a file is compromised, the malware within it remains contained and cannot infect the user’s device. HP Sure Click also quantifies risks by recording how users encounter threats, whether through email attachments, browser downloads or clicking on links.

These insights reduce known risks and may even uncover previously unknown risky user behaviours that can be addressed at an organizational level. HP Sure Click automatically maps attack attempts to MITRE ATT&CK, an industry knowledge base that enables organizations to understand the techniques that attackers are using against their organizations and prioritize their defences based on the threats they face.

By employing HP Sure Click, organizations can proactively defend against malware attacks, enhance their cybersecurity posture, and maintain a secure computing environment.

What are the significance and benefits of cybersecurity collaboration in terms of public reporting, sharing analysis tools, and collaborating within trust groups to enhance collective knowledge and response capabilities?
Cybersecurity collaboration holds immense significance in today’s threat landscape. We all have different vantage points of the threat landscape so by engaging in collaborative efforts such as public reporting, sharing analysis tools, and participating in trust groups, the security community amplifies its collective knowledge and response capabilities. This approach helps in several ways.

Firstly, public reporting of cyber threats raises awareness and allows organizations to tackle emerging threats proactively. Secondly, the sharing of analysis tools accelerates the identification and response to cyberattacks, enabling faster mitigation. Thirdly, trust groups foster a sense of shared responsibility, trust, and mutual support within the security community. Collaboration within these groups promotes a more coordinated and effective response to threats.

HP recognises the importance of such collaboration and actively contributes to the security community by sharing insights and analysis through research and publications.

What are the challenges of cybersecurity collaboration, and can these be overcome?
In the realm of cybersecurity collaboration, we encounter a multitude of challenges that demand careful consideration. The foremost among these challenges is the reluctance to share sensitive information due to concerns about data privacy and security. However, to effectively counteract evolving threats, it is important that organizations overcome this hurdle by anonymizing data and following robust security protocols for information exchange. Organisations can consider participating in collaboration platforms that ensure confidentiality while also implementing clear legal and governance frameworks designed to protect shared information.

Building trust requires establishing strong relationships among all parties. Another formidable challenge lies in the allocation of resources required for seamless collaboration. Coordinating efforts across diverse entities can be resource-intensive, necessitating efficient resource pooling and allocation. To surmount these challenges, industry groups can play a pivotal role in facilitating collaboration and distributing resources effectively. Moreover, the establishment of standardized legal agreements can provide a solid foundation for secure information sharing.

Ultimately, the cornerstone of successful cybersecurity collaboration rests on trust. Fostering trust among collaborators is an ongoing process that hinges on transparent communication, the diligent protection of shared data, and a unified commitment to bolstering collective security efforts. By addressing these challenges head-on, we can collectively fortify our defences against the relentless evolution of cyber threats.

Continue Reading

Cyber Security

42 Abu Dhabi Hosts Coding Hackathon in Collaboration with Al Hathboor Bikal.ai

Published

on

42 Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital’s innovative and disruptive coding school that provides a unique peer-to-peer, gamified learning methodology, held a hackathon titled “AI See a Solution: Computer Vision Hackathon 2023” from 13-14 September. The hackathon was held in collaboration with Al Hathboor Bikal.ai, a cutting-edge solutions provider dedicated to spearheading technological advancements for businesses and governments.

This two-day hackathon aimed to foster innovation and creativity among students by challenging them to harness the power of coding to solve real-world problems using AI. The event kicked off with a workshop on the first day, focusing on Computer Vision using Python Frameworks, Python Libraries, Open-source Models, and Datasets. Through the workshop, students gained valuable insights and skills essential for the hackathon, ensuring they are equipped to tackle the challenge ahead.

The team that won first place, including Ahmed Salem, Ghaiath Abdoush, Shatha Jadallah and Nousheen Ali, developed ‘Sawt AlRu’ya,’ an application which utilizes cutting-edge computer vision and AI technology to analyze live video streams, convert them into real-time textual descriptions, and seamlessly translate them into spoken words using a Large Language Model (LLM). By providing immediate audio feedback, ‘Sawt AlRu’ya’ empowers individuals with visual impairments to interact with their surroundings, effectively enhancing their daily lives and fostering inclusivity.

The second-place champions, including Avazbek Rashidov, Timur Mazitov, Zubaydullo Abdirakhmonov, and Nauman Munir, developed “Visulaw”, a tool which empowers users to capture photos of objects and instantly receive location-specific information about relevant fines and laws associated with those objects. This web application enhances user awareness and compliance with local regulations, fostering safer and more informed interactions with everyday objects.

Marcos Muller Habig, Acting CEO of 42 Abu Dhabi, said, “We were thrilled to host the hackathon in collaboration with Al Hathboor Bikal.ai, which served as an opportunity for our students to showcase their talents and unleash their creativity. The hackathon empowered 42 Abu Dhabi’s students to leverage their coding skills to develop advanced technologies which can drive meaningful change within the community. This cements our leading position as a talent incubator that is upskilling a new generation of coders who are equipped to accelerate the Emirate’s digital transformation and make a positive impact on society.”

Raj Sandhu, General Manager of Al Hathboor Bikal.ai, said, “We at Al Hathboor Bikal.ai are proud to collaborate with 42 Abu Dhabi in spearheading technological advancements through coding and practical sciences. AHB is pleased to be part of the very first Computer Vision hackathon in collaboration with 42 Abu Dhabi. We extend our appreciation to the participants and 42 Abu Dhabi Faculty’s unwavering support, and we look forward to future collaboration opportunities.”

Continue Reading

Cyber Security

Chinese Malware Appears in Earnest Across Cybercrime Threat Landscape

Published

on

Since early 2023, Proofpoint has observed an increase in the email distribution of malware associated with suspected Chinese cybercrime activity. This includes the attempted delivery of the Sainbox Remote Access Trojan (RAT) – a variant of the commodity trojan Gh0stRAT – and the newly identified ValleyRAT malware. After years of this malware not appearing in Proofpoint threat data, its appearance in multiple campaigns over the last six months is notable.

The phrase “Chinese-themed” is used to describe content related to this malicious activity, including lures, malware, targeting, and metadata that contains Chinese language usage. Campaigns are generally low-volume and are typically sent to global organizations with operations in China. The email subjects and content are usually written in Chinese and are typically related to business themes like invoices, payments, and new products. The targeted users have Chinese-language names spelled with Chinese-language characters, or specific company email addresses that appear to align with businesses’ operations in China. Although most campaigns have targeted Chinese-speaking users, Proofpoint observed one campaign targeting Japanese organizations, suggesting a potential expansion of activity.

These recently identified activity clusters have demonstrated flexible delivery methods, leveraging both simple and moderately complex techniques. Commonly, the emails contain URLs linking to compressed executables that are responsible for installing the malware. Proofpoint has also observed Sainbox RAT and ValleyRAT delivered via Excel and PDF attachments containing URLs linking to compressed executables.

Research into additional activity clusters utilizing this malware demonstrates enough variety in infrastructure, sender domains, email content, targeting, and payloads that researchers currently conclude that all use of these malware and associated campaigns are not attributable to the same cluster, but likely multiple distinct activity sets.

The emergence and uptick of both novel and older Chinese-themed malware demonstrates a new trend in the overall 2023 threat landscape. A blend of historic malware such as Sainbox – a variant of the older Gh0stRAT malware – and the newly uncovered ValleyRAT may challenge the dominance that the Russian-speaking cybercrime market has on the threat landscape. However, the Chinese-themed malware is currently mostly targeted toward users who likely speak Chinese. Proofpoint continues to monitor for evidence of increasing adoption across other languages.

With this resurgence of Chinese-themed malware, the question arises: is the impact of older malware easier to detect due to its age? Does mature detection always mean mature security? Based on Proofpoint’s analysis, the answer is not necessary, as older malware can still be effective, especially when threat actors constantly change tactics by rotating IPs, domains, encoding, and obfuscation. Consequently, even though these malware families are not new, organizations cannot afford to underestimate the risk they pose.

Proofpoint research suggests that this activity does not seem to be related to a single entity but rather appears to be a cluster of activities based on temporal patterns. The appearance of ValleyRAT alongside the older families hints at the possibility of their relationship in terms of timing. Proofpoint anticipates ValleyRAT will be used more frequently in the future.

Raising awareness in 2023 about the reappearance of these threats serves as an informational bulletin for the community. While new and sophisticated threats seemingly dominate the daily threat landscape, it is essential to maintain a balanced perspective by acknowledging seemingly less significant risks that persist. Despite being neither new nor advanced, Sainbox RAT still poses a threat in 2023, and ValleyRAT is an emerging threat in this space.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Follow Us

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Security Review Magazine. Rysha Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.