KSU, Taibah University team working on securing framework for digital Qur’an

The joint research team is working to come up with novel solutions to solve research challenges.
Updated 18 January 2017

KSU, Taibah University team working on securing framework for digital Qur’an

RIYADH: A joint team from the Center of Excellence in Information Assurance (CoEIA) at the King Saud University (KSU) and Noor IT Research Center for the Holy Qur’an at the Taibah University, Madinah, is working on a project funded by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to secure framework for a digital Qur’an.
“The research teams from the CoEIA and the Noor IT Research Center are exploring the methods to protect the integrity of the Holy Qur’an contents available in digital formats on smart phones and web applications,” said Muhammad Khurram Khan, who is leading the project at the CoEIA. He recently returned from the United States after presenting a research paper on it and chaired a session at the 35th IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE 2017) held in Las Vegas.
ICCE is a flagship international conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (US), which is held annually since 1982 in conjunction with the prestigious Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas.
“As the apps are free many people download it on smart phone, iPad, laptop and desktop to read the Holy Qur’an in digital format without knowing the fact if it is authentic or not, if it assure of cyber protection,” Khan told Arab News.
He said that when we read the Holy Qur’an in the hard copy, we know that it has been printed at the King Fahd Qur’an Printing Complex or some other recognized printing house in different countries, which assure of the authenticity, while the Holy Qur’an apps have been made available in digital formats and freely distributed through Internet in the form of portable documents, websites, mobile applications, and digital handheld devices.
The digitization of religious contents brings ease to people to explore, read and study contents with their convenience on the move, but on the other hand, authenticity of the content itself might be uncertain because it is cumbersome to track and verify hundreds, even thousands of digital versions of Qur’an available online, he added.
“We have proposed a system to secure framework for digital Qur’an certification as the objective behind the project is to assure of authenticity of the digital Holy Qur’an apps,” he said.
He added that there should be an authority to monitor such apps for authentication, and issue certificate, so that readers know that this app has been certified.
The team is working to come up with novel solutions to solve research challenges. Proposed framework and techniques can overcome the authentication problems in the minds of reciters of digital versions of the Holy Qur’an, he said.
Research outcome of this project is encouraging and it has attracted commendable response from Muslims around the World, said Khan.
“We are also looking for support to spin-off a company and seeking financial support to implement this project in the real-life environment,” he said.

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 22 min 56 sec ago

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.