Ex-Uber security chief sentenced for 2016 data-breach cover-up

Ex-Uber security chief sentenced for 2016 data-breach cover-up
An Uber sign is displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 05 May 2023

Ex-Uber security chief sentenced for 2016 data-breach cover-up

Ex-Uber security chief sentenced for 2016 data-breach cover-up
  • Joseph Sullivan sentenced to a three-year term of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $50,000
  • The hackers pleaded guilty in 2019 to computer fraud conspiracy charges and are awaiting sentencing

SAN FRANCISCO: The former chief security officer for Uber was sentenced to probation Thursday for trying to cover up a 2016 data breach in which hackers accessed tens of millions of customer records from the ride-hailing service.

Joseph Sullivan was sentenced to a three-year term of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $50,000, the US attorney’s office announced.
Sullivan, 54, of Palo Alto was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco last October of obstructing justice and concealing knowledge that a federal felony had been committed.
It was believed to be the first criminal prosecution of a company executive over a data breach.
Sullivan was hired as Uber’s chief security officer in 2015. In November 2016, Sullivan was emailed by hackers, and employees quickly confirmed that they had stolen records on about 57 million users and also 600,000 driver’s license numbers, prosecutors said.
After learning of the breach, Sullivan began a scheme to hide it from the public and the Federal Trade Commission, which had been investigating a smaller 2014 hack, authorities said.
According to the US attorney’s office, Sullivan told subordinates that “the story outside of the security group was to be that ‘this investigation does not exist,’ ” and arranged to pay the hackers $100,000 in bitcoin in exchange for them signing non-disclosure agreements promising not to reveal the hack. He also never mentioned the breach to Uber lawyers who were involved with the FTC’s inquiry, prosecutors said.
Uber’s new management began investigating the breach in the fall of 2017. Despite Sullivan lying to the new chief executive officer and others, the truth was uncovered, and the breach was made public, prosecutors said.
Sullivan was fired along with Craig Clark, an Uber lawyer he had told about the breach. Clark was given immunity by prosecutors and testified against Sullivan.
Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 15 months in federal prison for Sullivan, who submitted more than 100 letters of support from friends, family and colleagues.
In an April sentencing memo, prosecutors said that showed that Sullivan is “a wealthy, powerful man” with a deep network of family and friends.
“There cannot be two different systems of justice, one for the privileged and another for the rest,” the memo argued. “Any such perception would do grievous damage to public respect for the law.”
His lawyers argued that Sullivan already “has suffered, and will continue to suffer, significant consequences because of this case.”
No other Uber executives were charged in the case.
The hackers pleaded guilty in 2019 to computer fraud conspiracy charges and are awaiting sentencing.

Syria slams US ‘terrorist war’ in UN address

Syria slams US ‘terrorist war’ in UN address
Updated 7 min 52 sec ago

Syria slams US ‘terrorist war’ in UN address

Syria slams US ‘terrorist war’ in UN address
  • Washington spent ‘billions of dollars’ to ‘demolish and destroy’ Syrian achievements, says vice FM
  • Damascus will push for independent Palestine, return of Golan ‘no matter how long it takes’

NEW YORK: The US launching a “terrorist war” in Syria has led to “creative American chaos” and destabilization in the Middle East, Syria’s vice foreign minister told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Bassam Sabbagh, who previously served as Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, condemned the policies of successive US administrations “to serve geopolitical and selfish interests” and “work to create and exaggerate problems to ignite tensions and then conflicts.”

The world is facing myriad challenges, he said, listing “devastating conflicts,” the “continued occupation of some peoples,” “sharp rises in poverty and hunger” and “economic blockade policies.”

Confronting these challenges requires global cooperation among all UN member states and the building of a “new multipolar world order that achieves a new balance,” he added.

Sabbagh accused the US of misinterpreting the UN Charter to “justify attacks committed against the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of other countries.”

This led to Washington spending “billions of dollars” to “demolish and destroy development achievements (in Syria) made over decades,” he said.

The emergence of terrorist groups, including Daesh and Al-Nusra Front, can also be blamed on “creative American chaos,” Sabbagh added.

“The basic principle affirmed by the UN Charter is respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of member states,” he said.

“Therefore, any acquisition of the lands of others by force is an occupation, and any illegal military presence on the territory of any sovereign state is a clear violation of this charter.”

He named Israel, the US and Turkiye as the chief exponents of territory violation, saying the activities of the former in Palestine are “consistent with the destructive role” played by the latter two in Syria.

Damascus “spares no effort” in “standing alongside the brotherly Palestinian people,” Sabbagh said, defining the issue as “the central Arab cause.”

He condemned Israel’s occupation of “Arab lands in Palestine and the Syrian Golan” since 1967, demanding that it end “immediately and unconditionally.”

As part of its occupation, Israel is committing the “most heinous forms of grave and systematic violations” of the UN Charter, Sabbagh said.

Israel’s actions this year have pushed the region to “unprecedented levels of tension and instability,” he added, naming a litany of policies targeting Palestinians as well as Syrians in the Golan Heights.

“This is evident in it (Israel) committing more massacres, the escalation of its military aggression, and its repeated missile bombing of Syrian cities, ports and civil airports, which endangered civilian lives and the safety of civil aviation, and hampered United Nations humanitarian operations,” he said.

“This is in addition to its continuation of policies of settlement, Judaization, sieges, arbitrary arrest, forced displacement and racial discrimination in the occupied Arab territories.”

Sabbagh also denounced the “continued support for such practices and silence about them” by some countries that “declare themselves protectors of international humanitarian law.”

He repeated Syria’s support for an independent Palestinian state along the June 1967 borders and the return of the Golan Heights to Syria, “no matter how long it takes.”

He accused the US of causing $115 billion in losses to Syria’s oil sector since 2011. This “systematic and exposed American plunder of the Syrian people’s national wealth” also included gas and wheat, and has led to deprivation and human suffering in an “unprecedented manner,” Sabbagh said.

He urged the UN to meet its obligation in holding the US accountable for the “looted money,” demanding its return to Syria.

As well as siphoning wealth, Sabbagh accused both the US and Turkiye of “infiltrating” Syrian territory and launching an illegal military presence as part of a “flagrant interference” in his country’s internal affairs.

Syria is seeking an end to the “unilateral coercive measures” of the US and its European allies, including sanctions on the “public health, banking and energy sectors.”

These “illegal, immoral and inhumane” measures have only “exacerbated the suffering of Syrians wherever they are, given that their impact includes third countries,” Sabbagh said.

The devastating earthquakes in Syria this year added “a new burden and suffering” for its people, he added, saying Damascus has tried to open all aid tracks for the arrival of humanitarian relief.

“Syria was one of the most stable and prosperous countries in the world. It was achieving food self-sufficiency and providing all the basic necessities of life for its people in a way that was rarely seen in the region,” Sabbagh said.

“However, the terrorist war launched against it since 2011 changed this situation and caused a significant humanitarian crisis.”

He thanked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for launching a flash funding appeal in the wake of the earthquakes, but called on international donors to fulfill their funding pledges in order to improve the humanitarian situation.

Sabbagh declared Syria’s readiness to “welcome the return of every Syrian refugee who left their home, village or city” since 2011, including citizens “who were forced by terrorist organizations to seek refuge.

“I call on Western countries that ask refugees not to return to their homeland to stop these inhumane practices.”

He hailed the achievements of the Arab League Summit in Jeddah in May, which “restored to the collective Arab position its shine, and to Arab joint action its momentum.

“The Arab countries affirmed their support for Syria in preserving its sovereignty … and overcoming the difficult circumstances it’s going through.”

Sabbagh also expressed Syria’s “support and solidarity” with Libya and Morocco in the wake of the recent natural disasters in the two North African countries.

He ended his address by calling for the UNGA to be used as a platform for “dialogue and public diplomacy,” not for “leveling false accusations and launching hostile campaigns.”

Working to translate the UNGA slogan of “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity” into “real and serious action” will ensure no one is left behind, Sabbagh said.

Realty sector must adopt people-centric approach to planning

Ghada Al-Rumayan
Updated 30 min 43 sec ago

Realty sector must adopt people-centric approach to planning

Ghada Al-Rumayan

In a world dominated by blueprints and budgets, the real estate development industry has often lost sight of its most crucial element — people.

For years, the industry molded urban landscapes to meet the market demands in residential, retail and commercial segments without a holistic approach to the community needs of promoting fulfilling lifestyles and focusing on the people who use them.

Developers have, unfortunately, been seen as faceless entities, prioritizing numbers over the impact on people’s lives.

However, the winds of change are blowing, and a shift toward a people-centric approach is gaining momentum. It is not just about meeting the needs of a new generation but also making good business sense and, most importantly, doing the right thing.

ROSHN recognizes the importance of this shift and empowers individuals at the heart of its approach to development. Responsibility is paramount, and we take ownership of our role in shaping the urban landscape.

As we look to the future, the UN predicts that nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will reside in urban areas by 2050. This global trend is also mirrored in Saudi Arabia, where urbanization rates have increased significantly.

Comprehending this shift is vital for our future and is at the core of ROSHN’s most ambitious project to date, MARAFY.

A groundbreaking initiative, MARAFY embarks on the journey of transforming northern Jeddah into a hub of integrated living.

The project unfolds a seamless convergence of residential and commercial spaces with culture, cuisine, entertainment, hospitality and wellness.

This transformative urban development aspires to offer residents and visitors a blend of modernity and tradition.

Through the fusion of diverse elements, MARAFY aims to create an environment that redefines urban living and nurtures pleasant experiences, connections, and possibilities for anyone who calls it home.

MARAFY will redefine urban living by reimagining space and blurring the lines between work, leisure and community interaction.

Its contemporary design philosophy reflects our commitment to promoting fulfilling lifestyles and fostering vibrant communities. This development will triple the amount of publicly accessible waterfront, creating a new era of riverside urbanism.

By integrating MARAFY with ALAROUS, ROSHN’s first significant development in Jeddah, we create a synergy that enriches the lives of both communities.

ALAROUS is designed to provide high-quality housing with integrated amenities and public spaces that effortlessly connect with the MARAFY vision.

As MARAFY reshapes the urban landscape, ALAROUS residents will enjoy enhanced access to MARAFY’s cultural, recreational and social offerings, further enriching their quality of life.

Like other ROSHN communities, ALAROUS and MARAFY will embrace modern living while preserving the Kingdom’s rich heritage and local urban designs. This integrated neighborhood concept is what ROSHN has successfully introduced in Riyadh’s SEDRA, where early offerings were met with an encouraging response. It demonstrates the market demand for ROSHN’s concept of integrated neighborhoods packed with amenities that support a well-balanced, fulfilling lifestyle.

As a giga-project backed by the Public Investment Fund, ROSHN is determined to lead the way in the regional market, demonstrating through its groundbreaking developments how a people-centric approach improves the quality of life for residents, builds a stronger sense of community and ensures long-term business success.

As developers, we must recognize that our work profoundly impacts the lives of those who live in and around our developments.

The decisions we make today will shape our nation’s urban landscape for generations to come, and it is a privilege and a responsibility to be involved in this exciting process.

  • The writer is the Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Roshn Group

Ex-PM Khan shifted to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on court’s orders

Ex-PM Khan shifted to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on court’s orders
Updated 38 min 46 sec ago

Ex-PM Khan shifted to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on court’s orders

Ex-PM Khan shifted to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on court’s orders
  • A day earlier, Islamabad High Court ordered authorities to shift Khan to Adiala Jail 
  • Khan had filed a petition seeking to be transferred from high-security prison in Attock

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan was moved on Tuesday to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail from a prison in Attock two days after orders from the Islamabad High Court, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said. 
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said earlier during the day that its chairman was not shifted to Adiala Jail despite the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) directives on Monday. The cricketer-turned-politician was arrested on Aug. 5 and taken to a high-security prison in Attock after a trial court in Islamabad found him guilty of “corrupt practices” in a case involving the unlawful sale of state gifts during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022.
The IHC suspended Khan’s sentence on Aug. 29 but he remains in jail on remand in another case, popularly called the cipher case, in which he is charged with leaking state secrets. The latest extension of the remand order will keep Khan in jail until Oct. 10. Meanwhile, the former PM had filed a petition with the IHC seeking his transfer to Adiala Jail.
“PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who has been serving a three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case at the Attock Jail, was on Tuesday shifted to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on directives of the Islamabad High Court (IHC),” Pakistan’s English-language daily Dawn said.
Separately, the PTI shared a video from the Islamabad Toll Plaza in which a few party supporters could be seen showering rose petals at the convoy of police cars transporting Khan. 

On Monday, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq observed that under-trial prisoners (UTPs) of all the courts in the federal capital were kept at Adiala, issuing directions to shift Khan to that prison.
In the state secrets case, Khan is charged with making public the contents of a confidential cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States and using it for political gain, according to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Khan alleges that the cable proves the United States had pressed Pakistan’s military to orchestrate the fall of his government because he had visited Russia shortly before its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Washington and the Pakistani military have denied Khan’s accusations.
The former prime minister also faces a range of other legal cases he says are politically motivated.


Friend or foe? AI in spotlight at Arab Media Forum

Friend or foe? AI in spotlight at Arab Media Forum
Updated 26 September 2023

Friend or foe? AI in spotlight at Arab Media Forum

Friend or foe? AI in spotlight at Arab Media Forum
  • 21st annual conference opens in Dubai
  • ‘Technology is not the enemy of journalists,’ Sky Arabia’s head of news says

DUBAI: AI experts, analysts and journalists gathered on Tuesday for the 21st annual Arab Media Forum.

In a session titled “The Future of Journalism in the Web3 and Metaverse Era,” Mohammed Al Hammadi, chair of the UAE Journalists Association, said it was vital for those working in the industry to learn how to use artificial intelligence and ChatGPT.

“Journalists should be worried if they cannot keep up with the progress,” he said.

“Twenty years ago when social media first started to take hold, some continued to romanticize the old ways of publishing and the smell of newspapers. Those in question did not make it, their careers stalled and were replaced by those who knew how to handle progress. This technology will allow media to compete further on a global stage.”

Islam Al-Shatnawy, CEO of iApply Global, said during the session, which discussed the threats AI poses to journalism and journalists, that “money can be made if and once AI is utilized properly, allowing for complications in technicalities and productions to be resolved in record time and for less cost.”

In contrast, Abdu Gadallah, head of news at Sky Arabia, said the technology could lead to the loss of jobs, especially in areas like translation and production, though he doubted it would ever replace human presenters on TV.

“While technology is not the enemy of a journalist, there will be those who will be sacrificed in its pursuit,” he said.

“Technological advancement will not kill the message but might kill those who bring it about.”

Political analyst Yasser Abdulaziz described the new technology as “scary” and said job losses were inevitable.

It was possible that AI might one day also be responsible for making final decisions on editorial matters, he said.

Despite the threats, the panel urged journalists to view technological advancement and AI as a friend rather than a foe and to acknowledge the role it has to play in improving content production and profitability.

Saudi Embassy in Tokyo celebrates Kingdom’s 93rd National Day

Saudi Embassy in Tokyo celebrates Kingdom’s 93rd National Day
Updated 43 min 41 sec ago

Saudi Embassy in Tokyo celebrates Kingdom’s 93rd National Day

Saudi Embassy in Tokyo celebrates Kingdom’s 93rd National Day
  • Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry NISHIMURA Yasutoshi and Digital Minister KONO Taro attended the event
  • The event started with the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and Japan performed by a Japanese singer

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Japan Nayef Al-Fahadi hosted a reception on Tuesday on Saudi Arabia’s 93rd National Day.
The event at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo was attended by around 300 dignitaries, including Japanese government officials, members of parliament, academics, diplomats, Arab and Muslim community members, and Saudi students and businesspeople.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry NISHIMURA Yasutoshi and Digital Minister KONO Taro attended the event. Other attendees included military attaches from various embassies, including the Chinese Embassy.
The event started with the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and Japan performed by a Japanese singer. Videos and photos showing Saudi Arabia’s developments, tourism and natural beauty were displayed and Saudi dates were served to the guests along with Arabic snacks.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Al-Fahadi spoke of the dreams of the Kingdom and the achievements it has made.
“I will not tell you about my country’s glorious past, nor about the miracle of its founding, nor about the struggle of construction,” he said. “Rather, I would like to talk to you about its present, about a great vision where we accomplished over the course of years what we thought would take decades. My country today stands at the forefront of political, economic and tourism destinations, with its limitless vision, ambition and determination leading to what we see today.”
Al-Fahadi said that yesterday’s dreams had been turned into reality and the prestige of the country could be seen by the prestigious summits it hosts, foreign investment in the country and its appeal as a tourist destination. He concluded by thanking the guests for helping to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s 93rd National Day.
TSUJI Kiyoto, Japan’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, offered congratulatory remarks.
“It is my great pleasure and honor to congratulate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its 93rd National Day,” he said. “Saudi Arabia has been a reliable partner for Japan for many years. Currently, cooperation between the two countries is rapidly progressing beyond energy security to a wide range of fields, including decarbonization, advanced technology, entertainment, space, tourism, culture and sports.”
Tsuji noted the great success of Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio’s official visit to Saudi Arabia in July this year and his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two leaders agreed to continue accelerating cooperation between the two countries under the Japan-Saudi Vision 2030.
“Japan places great importance on its expanding strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia,” Tsuji added. “We believe that further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries, including both political and economic aspects, will not only serve the interests of both countries, but will also greatly contribute to the peace and prosperity of the entire Middle East, the Indo-Pacific and other regions.”
Tsuji praised Ambassador Al-Fahadi for earning a degree in Japan and his profound knowledge of the country, referring to him as “a bridge between the two countries.”
“Finally, I would like to conclude my remarks by praying for the further prosperity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the good health of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the happiness of the people of Saudi Arabia,” Tsuji said. “Shukran Jazilan.”