Pakistan and UAE agree to explore defense cooperation

Zobaida Jalal, Pakistan’s minister for defense production
Updated 01 December 2019

Pakistan and UAE agree to explore defense cooperation

  • Top official says Dubai Air Show opened several doors for collaboration

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad and the UAE have agreed to explore new avenues for the indigenization of the defense industries in both countries, Zobaida Jalal, Pakistan’s federal minister for defense production told Arab News on Friday.
“My meeting with Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and other meetings in UAE were beneficial as these reestablished our old ties with our tried and trusted friends,” Jalal said in a phone interview, adding that she hoped “we will be able to sign some MoUs or agreements soon to strengthen our collaboration.”
During the meeting on Nov. 25 with the Crown Prince — which was attended by UAE minister of state for defence affairs Muhammad bin Ahmad Al Bowardi — Jalal said that the two sides exchanged views on several bilateral, regional and international issues.
“Pakistan and the UAE stressed the commitment of the leadership of the two countries for an enhanced bilateral relationship,” Jalal said, before praising the UAE for working toward maintaining regional peace and security.
Jalal cited the Dubai Air Show (DAS) as one of the prime examples of this fact. As one of the biggest events in the aviation sector, she said it provides the ideal platform for aviation tycoons to showcase their products and provide “opportunities for interactions at the governmental-cum-political level.”
“We have sold Mushshak and Super Mushshak, along with spares, to countries like Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Iran, Nigeria and South Africa. Moreover, proposals have been submitted to UAE, Kuwait Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Qatar and responses are awaited,” Jalal said.
Work is underway to provide 52 Super Mushshak (SMK) aircraft to Turkey in the next five years, in addition to providing 10 SMKs and 3 JF-17 aircraft to Nigeria, 10 SMKs to Azerbaijan, eight SMKs to Qatar, eight Mushshaks to Oman, six Mushshaks to Syria and 25 Mushshaks to Iran.
In response to a question by Arab News, the Pakistan Air Force’s media wing said that the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has been participating in the Dubai Air Show since 2003.
“In the current chapter of DAS-2019, PAC participated in the event as an exhibitor with 01 SMK Super Mushshak aircraft on static park and establishment of an indoor stall to showcase its frontline products including the JF-17 Thunder aircraft. During the event, number of meetings were conducted with the visiting delegates, potential customers and business entitles at the indoor stall and static area,” the statement said.
The annual DAS attracts leading manufacturers from the aviation industry such as Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, Dassault, Saab, Boeing, and Airbus.
The 2019 event was by far the biggest DAS, attracting 1,300 exhibitors with 165 aircrafts on display.


Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

Updated 04 August 2020

Interpol warns of ‘alarming’ cybercrime rate during pandemic

  • Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions
  • There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware

LYON: Global police body Interpol warned Monday of an “alarming” rate of cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic, with criminals taking advantage of people working from home to target major institutions.
An assessment by the Lyon-based organization found a “significant target shift” by criminals from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.
“Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19,” said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock.
“The increased online dependency for people around the world is also creating new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyberdefenses are up to date,” he added.
The report said cybercriminals were sending COVID-19 themed phishing emails — which seek to obtain confidential data from users — often impersonating government and health authorities.
Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and health care institutions, it added.
In the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a rise in ramsomware attacks, in which users have to pay money to get their computer to work again.
There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware, said Interpol.
From January to April, some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs — all related to COVID-19 were detected by one of Interpol’s private sector partners, it said.
The agency warned the trend was set to continue and a “further increase in cybercrime is highly likely in the near future.”
“Vulnerabilities related to working from home and the potential for increased financial benefit will see cybercriminals continue to ramp up their activities and develop more advanced and sophisticated” methods, it said.
Once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Interpol said, “it is highly probable that there will be another spike in phishing related to these medical products as well as network intrusion and cyberattacks to steal data.”