Fatma Bazargan’s blog

Getting Ready for MEITSEC 08?
October 25, 2008, 9:27 am
Filed under: General

Middle East IT Security Conference (MEITSEC) 2008 will be held this year in November 16 – 20 in Dubai, UAE and this year the MEITSEC organizing committee has taken an extra effort in getting some of the best speakers on board for the conference. They have also introduced some excellent training streams this year in collaboration with SANS, HoneyTech and Forward Discovery. You can find more on their website.


Many thanks to the MEITSEC 08 organizing committee for the immense effort in arranging the event and sincere thanks to Mr. Ahmed AlKamali the chairman of the committee for making it happen.


See you all @ MEITSEC 08;

Fatma Bazargan


GITEX Technology Week Highlights
October 24, 2008, 4:59 pm
Filed under: General

GITEX Technology Week went off well this year, HH. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his son HH. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed inaugurated GITEX this year and took a tour around.


One of the main reasons I attend GITEX Technology Week every year is because I get to connect with people. You tend to meet up with professionals in the field and get to know what’s coming up next and what have been happening lately.


The ones I got to meet up with this year were, John Fitzgerald, who doesn’t know John? The person who got SANS to Dubai; currently he is the CEO of Beyond Encryption Technologies, we wish you all the best with the Grand Final of the Global Security Challenge 2008 (keep us posted!). Then there was Ivor Rankin from Symantec, it is always a pleasure meeting up with him you always get to learn something or another when he talks. Lance Spitzner the founder of HoneyTech also dropped by so that we can catch up on what’s new; Lance is currently getting ready to drop by MEITSEC 08 next month he is going to teach a 3-day course titled “building a successful enterprise security awareness program”. It was also a good time to meet up with the UAE infosec colleagues (hey! it seems we get to meet up only in events =))


Gitex ended yesterday and overall although tiring it was enjoyable to bits.

P.S: the gallery will be updated after few days with GITEX highlights.


Till then, enjoy the Friday!

Fatma Bazargan

See you @ GITEX/GULFCOMMS 2008
October 18, 2008, 2:13 pm
Filed under: General

Visit aeCERT @ Telecommunications Regulatory Authority stand at GULFCOMMS, E10, Zabeel Hall in GITEX Technology Week, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and find out what’s new. 


See you there..


Eagle Eye: supercomputer and artificial intelligence for once made me laugh
October 13, 2008, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Review

If you haven’t seen the movie; refrain from reading; the review contains spoilers. =)


I recently watched Eagle Eye and believe me for once I felt artificial intelligence made me laugh from the core (lOl). I couldn’t stop giggling and criticizing on some of the acts that showed up in the movie; to the extent that my brothers wanted to kick me out of the cinema (lOl).


You would really want to watch how a defense unit of a country puts in place a supercomputer which is pumped with so much of artificial intelligence and surveillance that it took self control and went against the government, disobeying its own makers! O_o  


Just to start with the supercomputer contacted two civilians (Jerry and the Female [lOl]) and instructed both with some actions! now how on earth will a military base put such supercomputer in place that has managed to execute so many actions without anyone noticing it! >_< (grrr)


And if all what the supercomputer wanted was Jerry to say out few words in front of that screen then why go through all the hassle and the damage caused to get him till Pentagon, baby, if you can let a truck loaded with so much weapon be delivered to Jerry’s apartment without it going through security check then cant you just hire some pros who can get you the guy right to Pentagon (simple ey?) oh yeah it’s a movie after all there should be some ACTION and not to forget the adrenalin rush (lOl)!


Don’t get me started on what-on-earth-actions that took place like the Porsche being controlled by the supercomputer, signal lights, airports, trains, screens, mobile phones. the black boxes that were delivered to Jerry’s apartment when he was out for funeral how on earth did that truck loaded with deadly weapons and fake passports pass the security check! the hysteric-cracked-up moment was when the supercomputer hacked in a jet and it started firing missiles in the tunnel oh and the x-ray machine at the airport that couldn’t detect the injects in the bag with Jerry because the screen was changed! Oh and the upload of the data to the satellite.. yeah yeah I’m authorized to do that! (lOl)


I wonder what message the movie wants to deliver but I hope it’s not something like well there will be a time where we cannot control our own supercomputer which is fed by so much of artificial intelligence that we ourselves aren’t aware of what actions it may take and I really hope it’s not something like it is just easy for our critical national infrastructure to be hacked into yeah you can hack the jets and fire missiles anywhere and everywhere you want with a supercomputer!


But seriously go watch it for a laugh, you’ll enjoy giggling for an hour or so =)




Users beware of Phishing e-mail scams related to the recent Financial Crisis
October 12, 2008, 2:55 pm
Filed under: Security


In the past few weeks the financial marketplace globally is in an extreme tremble; banks and other financial institutions are either collapsed or merged or acquired. It seems the only folks to benefit from the stress and the fear in the marketplace are the e-mail scammers (phishers). These e-mail scammers are targeting the users by sending them phishing e-mail scams that pretends to be legitimate and seek to steal their login credentials by sending them either links to fraudulent websites to verify or attachments that may be infectious.


Alert of the Day: Remain alert and do not fall victim to phishing e-mail scams even if the sender and timing of the e-mail scam seems legitimate to you; Remember it’s highly unlikely that banks and other financial institutions would ever send you an e-mail or link to ask you to login or verify your account status.


Info of the Day: Phishing is a form of an e-mail scam tailored by fraudsters; pretending to be relevant and from a sender that a user may trust and seeks to steal account information such as a user’s bank login credentials, these login credentials is then used by fraudsters for performing fraudulent acts (i.e. identity theft).


How to deal with Phishing E-mail Scams:

  • Your bank will never ever ask you for your login credentials.
  • If you receive an email and you are in doubt; call the bank to verify if they did send one.  
  • Don’t click on any links in the e-mail as they are all redirected to a fraudulent website.
  • If you find any attachment in such scam e-mails, just delete it.
  • Finally, don’t forget to notify your bank that you have received such emails in that way your bank can inform other customers to take precautions.

Be safe online!


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October 7, 2008, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Security

Yes; you heard me right, October is the national cyber security awareness month and a lot of activities should be scheduled to raise awareness and promote the best practices while being connected whether @ home or @ work or @ school. aeCERT the National Computer Emergency Response Team in the UAE has a lot of awareness materials targeted both for home and business users; ranging from eLearning modules, screensavers, posters, reminder cards, newsletters, etc. You can find all the materials here in Arabic and here in English.


Other awareness websites besides aeCERT are: eSecurity, iSafe, NetSamrtz, iKeepSafe, etc.


be safe online!