Al-Arabiya journalist Rima Maktabi honored by Lebanese American University

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Rima Maktabi. (AFP)
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Updated 17 May 2018

Al-Arabiya journalist Rima Maktabi honored by Lebanese American University

  • On accepting her award the journalist said women in the industry face a tough journey
  • Maktabi described as a brave journalist both on the front line of wars and across the table from world leaders

LONDON: Rima Maktabi was awarded the inaugural 2018 Communication Arts Alumni Award last week by the Lebanese American University.
Maktabi, the UK bureau chief at Al-Arabiya News Channel, was chosen for the award in line with selection criteria that gave weight to innovation and women’s empowerment, according to Chairperson of the Communication Arts Department Jad Melki.
The award was presented at an event at Gulbenkian Theatre on Friday, at the conclusion of LAU’s Festival Next, a colorful week of workshops, performances, screenings, and competitions.
“I am proud to belong to this university and its student body,” said Maktabi, who shared valuable advice during her address to students, especially to aspiring female journalists.
“Do not be fooled by sparkling images of women on screen — women in journalism face a long, bumpy road,” she declared, pointing out that despite the massive spread of social media, the same journalistic guiding principles apply: “Accuracy, knowledge and truth are at the core, everything else is just an addition.”


Maktabi began her career as a game show host and weather presenter with Lebanon’s Future TV. She moved into news presenting in 2005 with Al-Arabiya, coming to international prominence in the following year when she covered the 2006 Lebanon war. She moved to CNN in 2010 to present the network’s “Inside the Middle East” program, returning to Al-Arabiya in 2012.
“Rima is a brave journalist — not just at the frontlines of the numerous wars she has reported on, but also across the table from the world leaders she has interviewed,” said Assistant Professor Claudia Kozman, who was also the MC at Friday’s event.
Abdallah Al-Khal, assistant vice president for alumni relations at LAU, joined Melki in presenting the award to Maktabi. After the presentation, the closing ceremony featured a spectacular performance by musical group Fere’et Aa Nota.


Cyber experts advise users to be cautious while using mobile apps

This June 16, 2017, file photo shows social media app icons on a smartphone held by an Associated Press reporter in San Francisco. (AP)
Updated 18 February 2020

Cyber experts advise users to be cautious while using mobile apps

  • The countries attacked most often were Egypt, accounting for 31 percent, Saudi Arabia with 18 percent and the UAE with 17 percent of all attacks in the region, Kaspersky’s analysis said

RIYADH: Choosing the right partner is important, but there is a need to be careful while using apps for this as Saudi Arabia is the second most-affected country in the Middle East from cyberattacks disguised as dating apps.
An analysis by Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, has shown that in 2019 the region saw a circulation of 658 threats under the guise of over 20 popular dating applications, with 2,082 attacks on 1,352 users detected.
The countries attacked most often were Egypt, accounting for 31 percent, Saudi Arabia with 18 percent and the UAE with 17 percent of all attacks in the region, Kaspersky’s analysis said.
It added that popular dating services used worldwide, such as Tinder, Bumble or Zoosk, often become bait used to spread mobile malware, or to retrieve personal data to later bombard users with unwanted ads or even spend their money on expensive subscriptions.
Such files have nothing to do with legitimate apps, as they only use a name and sometimes copy a design of authentic dating services, it said.
It added that cybercriminals would most often choose Tinder to cover their files: The app’s name was used in nearly a third of all cases (693 attacks detected in the region).
However, the researchers noticed that around 13 percent of attacks came from apps disguised as local services solely for
Arab matchmaking.
The danger these malicious files bring varies from file to file, ranging from Trojans that can download other malware, to ones that send expensive
SMS messages, to adware.
It further revealed that cybercriminals who specialize in phishing also do not miss the chance to feed on those seeking to find love. Fake copies of popular dating applications and websites, such as Match.com and Tinder, flood the internet.

BACKGROUND

Popular dating services used worldwide, such as Tinder, Bumble or Zoosk, often become a bait used to spread mobile malware.

Users are required to leave their personal data or connect to the applications via their social media account. The result is not surprising: The data will later be used or sold by cybercriminals, while the user will be left with nothing.
Muhammad Khurram Khan, professor of cybersecurity at King Saud University, told Arab News: “As the use of dating and social media apps continues to rise and gain popularity, cybercriminals continue to promulgate and leverage fake malicious apps to steal users’ personal data. This technique is called social engineering, which exploits human psychology and weaknesses to trap innocent netizens.”
Khan, who is the founder CEO of the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research, Washington D.C, added that fake apps masquerade as legitimate applications to trick users to install them and once installed, these applications could perform a variety of malicious actions through ‘honey traps’ e.g. access the device’s camera, microphone, calendar, GPS location, personal data, contact list and financial information.
“Cybersecurity awareness and hygiene could help to protect from these risks by practicing simple sets of actions,” he said.
As an expert he advised that users should always stay attentive and download original versions of applications that are available in the official app stores.
“It is imperative to keep checking the apps permissions to know about their rights to access the devices resources e.g microphone, camera and photos,” he said, adding: “Users should also use and update their antivirus and other malware protection tools.”
 
Vladimir Kuskov, head of advanced threat research and software classification at Kaspersky, said: “Love is one of those topics that interests people universally, and, of course, that means that cybercriminals are also there. Online dating has made our lives easier and yet uncovered new risks on the path to love. We advise users to stay attentive and use legal versions of applications that are available in official application stores.”