Apple thanks Saudi for detecting security flaw

Fatima Al-Harbi. (Supplied)
Updated 30 January 2019
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Apple thanks Saudi for detecting security flaw

  • Apple thanked the Saudi, on its website, included her name in a list of contributors to its system
  • Al-Harbi is a PhD candidate at the computer science department of the University of California

JEDDAH: Fatima Al-Harbi has attracted Saudi and global attention for discovering a security flaw in the most powerful security systems of Apple, Microsoft and Linux. 
Apple thanked her and, on its website, included her name in a list of contributors to its system.
Al-Harbi, who was born and raised in Jeddah, is a PhD candidate at the computer science department of the University of California, Riverside.
“I’m also a lecturer at the College of Computer Science and Engineering at Taibah University, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia,” she told Arab News. 
Al-Harbi holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in computer science from King Abdulaziz University and California State University, respectively.
She became interested in cybersecurity during her undergraduate studies. “I took a security course that was instructed by Prof. Omaimah Bamasak, who delivered the subject in a very interesting way,” Al-Harbi said.
“This influenced my decision to work in the field of cybersecurity, and specifically in information and network security.”
Speaking of her discovery of the security flaw, Al-Harbi said: “I contacted Apple, informed them about the vulnerability in the system, and shared with them all the technical details and code.”
She added: “The company contacted me immediately and informed me that they’ll release a new update for all Apple devices. They then asked for my permission to add my name to the recognition list. Of course, with pride, I agreed and thanked them for that.” 
She said: “The problem I found enables any hacker to force the browser to visit a hacker-controlled site, making the victim believe it’s a safe site.” 
She added: “The victim types his or her personal login information, which the hacker will input in his database to use and take advantage of later.” 
Al-Harbi said she focuses on the detection and analysis of weaknesses or defects in security networks. 
“I have a good understanding of computer systems, both their design and implementation, including operating systems, software, network protocols and their interactions. Recently, I’ve been passionate about building systems that will have a long-term impact,” she added.


French court throws out Qatari-owned beIN Sports’ ‘unproven’ broadcast piracy claim against Arabsat

Updated 18 June 2019
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French court throws out Qatari-owned beIN Sports’ ‘unproven’ broadcast piracy claim against Arabsat

  • The court rejected beIN’s allegations and demanded that beIN pay a fine of €6,000 to Arabsat’s adviser

LONDON: The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris has thrown out beIN Media group’s allegations against the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation — better known as Arabsat.

The French court rejected beIN’s allegations and demanded that beIN pay a fine of €6,000 to Arabsat’s adviser, and the prosecution costs of Arabsat amounting to €25,000.

Arabsat said it welcomed the ruling, which made clear there was no link between Arabsat and piracy.

The court said beIN had failed to demonstrate “clear illegal disruption or prove immediate risk of commercial damage.”

In a statement issued after the conclusion of the legal proceedings in Paris, the satellite company said that it respected the integrity of the French judiciary and was pleased with how skillfully and professionally the allegations of Qatar’s Al Jazeera subsidiary, beIN Sports, were addressed.

“The French judiciary’s ruling, rejecting beIN’s lawsuit and allegations against Arabsat, has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt our organization’s valid position from day one, despite beIN Sport’s attempts to cast doubt on that position; its media smear campaign; and its relentless attempts to push bogus and misleading claims,” Arabsat said in a statement following the ruling.

INNUMBERS

• €25,000 — beIN ordered to pay prosecution costs of Arabsat

• 500 — The number of TV channels Arabsat broadcasts

• 170 million — Arabsat audience in the Middle East and North Africa

• 1976 — year Arabsat was founded

It marks the latest legal chapter in a long running feud that has produced claim and counter claim.  In a press release issued on May 2, 2018 beIN accused Arabsat of “facilitation of satellite broadcasts by the notorious Saudi-based piracy network, cynically known as “beoutQ”.

Founded in 1976, Arabsat has grown to become the leading satellite services provider in the Arab world.

It broadcasts over 500 TV channels, 200 radio stations, pay-tv networks as well as HD channels to millions of homes across 80 countries.

It has an estimated audience of over 170 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa.

Doha-based beIN was founded in 2014 and operates 60 channels in 43 countries.