ITP.net’s tech 2017 round-up: November
VAT drives recruitment, Paradise Papers are found and the Gaza Team cybergang returns
November saw the rich be exposed and a notorious cyber gang return to Saudi Arabia.
Dubbed the Paradise Papers, the documents exposed how the ultra-rich hid their millions in offshore tax havens. It began when Appleby, a firm based in Bermuda with offices in many tax havens, was said to be in the process of warning clients that they may be implicated in a massive leak of sensitive information.
Many of the stories focused on how politicians, multinationals, celebrities and high-net-worth individuals use complex structures of trusts, foundations and shell companies to protect their cash from tax officials or hide their dealings behind a veil of secrecy.
The infamous Gaza Team Cybergang returned to the Middle East and North Africa stronger than ever, as they changed their hacking techniques. The attacks tools had become more sophisticated as the gang had developed topical, geopolitical spearphishing documents that were used to deliver malware to targets. To carry out the attacks, the gang has sent emails that contain remote access Trojans in fake office documents, or URLs to malicious websites. If accessed, the victim was then instantly infected with malware which allowed the criminals to steal files and collect screenshots from the device.
Cisco's CEO Chuck Robbins visited Dubai to open an Innovation & Experience Centre (IXC). The IXC, which is located at Cisco's Middle East HQ in Dubai Knowledge Village, is intended to provide a showcase for Cisco solutions, and to provide a focus for local partner ecosystems and startups to build on Cisco technology.
Also in November, Dubai's plans for a flying taxi extended to include powerful passenger carrying drones. Vimana announced it was developing an electric-powered, Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and a blockchain-based control system, which would make fast and reliable city-wide aerial taxis a reality.
The Vimana AAV, which is due for its first test flights in Moscow, is a tilt-wing eVTOL, which has electric motors powered by electric hybrid power source. The craft will have a 10m wingspan, and will be able to carry a 400kg payload of up to 4 passengers, with a range of 900km and a top speed in sustained flight of up to 150mph (240kph).
With VAT implementation looming, many reports emerged revealing how the new regulations would change the business landscape. A report by the Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide found that the demand for accounting and finance professions will remain high in the UAE in 2018, particularly in the real estate, construction, professional services and healthcare industries.
The top three in-demand roles, according to Robert Half, are tax managers at large companies (with a predicted starting salary of between $92,000 and $141,000), as well as financial planning and analysis directors ($164,500 to $238,200) and credit controllers at small companies ($52,200 to $65,500).