IT Security road show highlights wireless vulnerabilities

Over 150 local business delegates attended the Middle East IT Security road show in Emirates Towers yesterday. Among the highlights of the half day conferece was a live hacking demonstration.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  May 27, 2003

Over 150 local business delegates attended the Middle East IT Security road show in Emirates Towers yesterday, which was organised by ITP, the publishers of Arabian Computer News and Arabian Business Magazines.

“Attendance shows the growing importance that Middle East IT Managers attach to security,” claims Ken Jamieson, Director of Events, ITP.

The half day conference provided participants with an insight into a variety of security practises and techniques, with a live hacking demonstration among the highlights.

Dubai Internet City’s CEO, Dr. Omar Ahmed Mohammed Bin Sulaiman, delivered a key note address, while Dr. Saeed Al Dhaheri, IT consultant for the Ministry of Interior’s Population Register & ID card project (PRIDC), provided a detailed outline of its plan to introduce national ID cards for the UAE’s 3.4 million population. He explained that the cards will incorporate smart chip technology, which holds security information, such as user name and photograph, as well as fingerprint scans.

The cards will also feature PKI technology to facilitate their use in online transactions.

Additionally, Data Fort’s Rashed Al Abbar revealed that wireless networks are still proving vulnerable in the UAE. Al Abbar said that there are many unencrypted access points in the Emirates, which could easily be detected by drive by hackers.

Al Abbar also suggested the use of PDAs in security attacks are increasing, as hackers look to utilise less obvious and bulky tools in their attempts to penetrate wireless networks.

Further illustrating the ease with which security attacks can be carried out, David Michaux, CEO of Scanit, simulated a live hack during the road show.

Other speakers included Laserian Kelly from Emirates Airlines and Sameh Emam from Internet Security Systems (ISS).

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