ITP.net’s tech 2017 round-up: October
ACN Awards celebrate industry leaders, WiFi's encryption standard is cracked and Noon launches
Noon.com, the $1bn e-commerce joint venture founded by Mohamed Alabbar, finally launched at the start of month. The digital marketplace, a joint venture between Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and a group of prominent Gulf investors, launched with a large assortment of original products through partnerships with local retailers.
Analysts had predicted that Noon's arrival on the Middle East e-commerce scene would trigger a price war and will likely alter how shopping is done in the consumerist culture of the Gulf. The analysts were right as the launched promoted SOUQ.com to slash its prices on key products.
October was also the month for two key events: GITEX Technology Week and the Arabian Computer news Arab Technology Awards. The annual GITEX Technology Week was home to many formed partnerships and expert opinion on digital transformation, emerging technologies and predictions.
The Arabian Computer news Arab Technology Awards saw both private and public sector win big on the night, as well as attendees celebrate the achievements of their peers within the industry.
Security took a turn for the worse as the Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority (GEA) had revealed it suffered from a cyber-attack. Furthermore WiFi's most popular encryption standard, WPA2, had been cracked.
The attack method called KRACK (for Key Reinstallation AttaCK) was able to break WPA2 encryption, allowing a hacker to read information passing between a device and its wireless access point using a variation of a common - and usually highly detectable - man-in-the-middle attack. If successful, this vulnerability can potentially allow a hacker to spy on your data as well as gain access to unsecured devices sharing the same WiFi network.
October ended with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiling Neom, the $500 mega city where artificial intelligence will be the driving factor. Everything in Neom life will be connected via an app which will give residents control over what they want to do, according to the crown prince.