Online mask ads mystery revealed as Saudi banks launch cybersecurity campaign

Online mask ads mystery revealed as Saudi banks launch cybersecurity campaign
Photo/Supplied
Short Url
Updated 24 November 2020

Online mask ads mystery revealed as Saudi banks launch cybersecurity campaign

Online mask ads mystery revealed as Saudi banks launch cybersecurity campaign
  • Phishing is the most favorite technique employed by cybercriminals to obtain personal and financial information by masquerading as a trustworthy organization

RIYADH: The mystery surrounding a series of eye-mask adverts which have caused a stir on social media has been revealed with the launch of a new cybersecurity campaign by a group of Saudi banks.
The Khalaha Lek (keep it for yourself) initiative aims to raise awareness about financial fraud, explain how people can protect their personal information, and combat hackers and other online tricksters.
The banks participating in the program are Al-Rajhi Bank, NCB, Riyad Bank, SABB, Samba, ANB, Banque Saudi Fransi, Alinma Bank, The Saudi Investment Bank, Bank Albilad, Bank Aljazira, and Meem.
Financial fraud and phishing — where hackers posing as reputable organizations try to gain access to sensitive information — has increasingly become a problem not just in Saudi Arabia, but worldwide.
The Nilson Report, the leading global card and mobile payments trade publication, reported that global losses to fraud reached $27.85 billion in 2018, and are projected to rise to $35.67 billion in five years and $40.63 billion in 10 years.
According to a 2017 report by the Center for International Communication (CIC), the number of cases of bank fraud in Saudi Arabia are lower than most countries in the world.
However, at a time when rates of forgery and fraud in the industry have been rising steadily throughout the world, most cybersecurity experts still urge caution.
Muhammad Khurram Khan, professor of cybersecurity at King Saud University and founder and CEO of the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research, told Arab News that people should not take the threat of phishing lightly.
“Phishing is a constantly growing global cybersecurity concern that uses social engineering techniques to target online users and has also become one of the top methods to perform ransomware attacks. It is estimated that over 90 percent of hacking attempts are performed by some sort of phishing scams and spam messages,” he said.
Khan urged users to carefully check their emails and messages to ensure that they were coming from a verifiable source.
“Phishing is the most favorite technique employed by cybercriminals to obtain personal and financial information by masquerading as a trustworthy organization.
“The price tag of a successful phishing attempt could cost tons of money in loss, business operations disruption, damage to the organization’s reputation, and hefty fines from regulatory bodies,” he added.
Saudi cybersecurity specialist, Abdullah Al-Jaber, told Arab News that the initiative could not have come at a better time, and he was pleased to see so many big-name banks throwing their weight behind it.
“It’s awesome that they tried to approach the public in a different way, rather than the usual text messages or emails that many people tend to ignore,” he said.
He also praised the focus on providing awareness to the public, and the emphasis on taking care of personal data.
“The videos they shared did touch on multiple ways of hacking, such as phishing campaigns using phone calls, emails, and texts. Those are the most common attacks that we see regularly here in Saudi and the GCC.
“It’s also helpful that they went public with the campaign during the G20 Summit, as with such events, hacking and cyberattacks tend to increase,” he added.
Khan said that a one-size-fits-all solution to protect against cyberattacks did not exist, but a combination of different strategies, solutions, tools, and services could help people to become more safety conscious.
“Equipping users and organizations with cybersecurity knowledge and awareness, the exercising of basic cyber-hygiene and best practices, and implementation of rudimentary cybersecurity controls could help to mitigate the risks and diminish the success of cyber incidents,” he added.
He also warned people not to click on web links in unsolicited emails or messages, and never to open email attachments from unknown sources.
“Similarly, we should avoid sharing our personal data and banking information with anyone impersonating a bank or an organization,” said Khan.
To help with this, the Saudi banks’ initiative has a dedicated team to assist users in ensuring the validity of any emails or messages they receive supposedly from the banks in questions. A form is available on the website at https://khalha-lk.com, where users can enter their information along with a screenshot of the received email to be evaluated by the team.


KSrelief delivers COVID-19 aid to Malawi

The aid was delivered by the Saudi non-resident deputy ambassador to Malawi, Nasser Al-Faridi, to Malawian Deputy Minister of Health Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho, in the capital Lilongwe. (SPA)
The aid was delivered by the Saudi non-resident deputy ambassador to Malawi, Nasser Al-Faridi, to Malawian Deputy Minister of Health Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho, in the capital Lilongwe. (SPA)
Updated 15 sec ago

KSrelief delivers COVID-19 aid to Malawi

The aid was delivered by the Saudi non-resident deputy ambassador to Malawi, Nasser Al-Faridi, to Malawian Deputy Minister of Health Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho, in the capital Lilongwe. (SPA)

RIYADH: The Saudi-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) delivered various medical and preventive aid to Malawi to help the African country combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The aid was delivered by the Kingdom’s non-resident deputy ambassador to Malawi, Nasser Al-Faridi, to Malawian Deputy Minister of Health Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho, in the capital, Lilongwe, on Sunday.
Al-Faridi said that this step comes within the framework of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to provide support and assistance to affected countries and based on its humanitarian role to confront the pandemic. He also said the step indicates the depth of relations between the two countries.


Saudi crown prince receives letter from Kuwaiti counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the Kingdom, in Riyadh on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the Kingdom, in Riyadh on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (SPA)
Updated 36 min 44 sec ago

Saudi crown prince receives letter from Kuwaiti counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the Kingdom, in Riyadh on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (SPA)
  • The message dealt with the strong and solid bilateral relations, and ways to enhance them in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday received a written message from his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, regarding relations and the deep-rooted historical ties that bind the two countries and peoples, and ways to strengthen and develop them in all fields.
The message was received by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, during a meeting with Sheikh Ali Al-Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the Kingdom, in the capital, Riyadh.


Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 38 new infections

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 38 new infections
Updated 18 October 2021

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 38 new infections

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 38 new infections
  • The health ministry says 52 patients have recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours
  • Municipalities close 35 businesses and issue fines to 72 others for violating precautionary measures

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed two new COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,765.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 38 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 547,969 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total number of cases, 100 remain in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 14, followed by Jeddah with six, Makkah with three, and Buraidah and Dammam confirmed two cases each.
The health ministry also announced that 52 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 536,999.
Over 44.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 20.6 million people have been fully vaccinated.


Meanwhile, Saudi municipalities have ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures.
The municipality of the Eastern Province carried out 1,222 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities on Sunday, and found 72 businesses in violation of the precautionary measures.
Hail Municipality also carried out 635 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities during the past week and authorities closed 35 commercial outlets for breaching protocols.
Officials have also called on the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call center number or contacting authorities through the Balady app.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 241 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.91 million.


Saudi king receives letter from Oman’s sultan on bilateral relations

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received the letter during a meeting with his Omani counterpart, Sayyed Badr Al-Busaidi, in Riyadh, on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received the letter during a meeting with his Omani counterpart, Sayyed Badr Al-Busaidi, in Riyadh, on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (SPA)
Updated 18 October 2021

Saudi king receives letter from Oman’s sultan on bilateral relations

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received the letter during a meeting with his Omani counterpart, Sayyed Badr Al-Busaidi, in Riyadh, on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (SPA)
  • The message dealt with the strong and solid bilateral relations, and ways to enhance them in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a written message from Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, regarding the strong and solid relations between the two countries and peoples, and ways to support and enhance them in various fields and at all levels.
The message was received by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan during a meeting with his Omani counterpart, Sayyed Badr Al-Busaidi, where he welcomed the Omani minister and his delegation accompanying to their second country, Saudi Arabia.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of enhancing them in various fields, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest.


3 Italians killed in car crash in Saudi Arabia

3 Italians killed in car crash in Saudi Arabia
Updated 18 October 2021

3 Italians killed in car crash in Saudi Arabia

3 Italians killed in car crash in Saudi Arabia
  • The dancers were in Saudi Arabia to inaugurate a theater
  • Their vehicles crashed while on an excursion in the desert

ROME: Three Italian dancers and another person died in a car crash in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Italy’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday.

The dancers, all in their early 30s, were identified as Antonio Caggianelli, Giampiero Giarri and Nicolas Esposto. The fourth victim has not been named.

The dancers were in the Kingdom with a 10-strong all-Italian troupe to inaugurate a theater. Sunday was their day off and they had decided to go on an excursion in the desert.

For reasons as yet unknown, their vehicles crashed into a gully and overturned. Another three Italians were involved in the accident. One is in serious condition while the other two were unhurt.

Caggianelli had a leading role in the latest edition of the Notte della Taranta, one of the most prestigious summer dancing events in southern Italy.