Ozgur Sinanoglu is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYUAD. Delores Johnson / The National
Ozgur Sinanoglu is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYUAD. Delores Johnson / The National

No place like home when it comes to keeping UAE safe from cyber attack



ABU DHABI // The UAE is hardening its critical infrastructure against hacking with plans to test the security of electronic chips used to operate everything from a city’s power grid to phones, satellites, aviation, and medical and military applications.

Earlier this year, cybersecurity experts and materials engineers warned that defects could be introduced in manufacturing these components, compromising their efficiency and safety.

The UAE owns the semi-conductor manufacturing company Global Foundries, which has a fabrication facility in New York which benefited from a multi-billion dollar investment last year. However, making these outside the UAE means there could be a security risk in the supply chain.

Now New York University Abu Dhabi is moving forward with a plan to test these components.

“Someone may alter the design or insert something malicious into the final chip,” said Ozgur Sinanoglu, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYUAD. “We need to make sure no trojans are inserted inside the chip, and my research addresses these kind of problems.”

NYUAD has created a test bed in its laboratory at the Saadiyat Island campus, allowing students to hack devices and create defences, said Michail Maniatakos, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

“The devices control some kind of industrial process, whether a nuclear factory or a whole city’s power, and we’d like to see the effect of hacking into the process and what can happen to a city,” he said.

The team mapped the UAE and New York power grids for simulation. They also plan to map the UAE’s transport networks, including cameras, toll gates and traffic lights. Mapping can take between a week and six months.

“The attackers are always a step ahead. For every defence you implement, they’ll come up with a new attack,” said Prof Maniatakos.

“So to win the game, you have to attack it first before someone else does it for you. This needs a proper security mindset that is heavily needed here.”

The university is working with the US government to better protect its army, and Global Foundries, owned by Mubadala, to make chips with built-in defence systems.

“We’re about to finish the first secure version and the chip will hopefully be fabricated in the next month for the first time in the UAE,” Mr Sinanoglu said.

“It’s a lot of research but we have the opportunity for the first time to create something real. The threats are out there and this affects everybody equally.”

Experts said the project is vital for cyber security in the UAE.

“It proves again that Abu Dhabi is leading the region in advanced research and development projects across all sectors to now include defence, space and security innovations,” said Matthew Cochran, chairman of the Defence Marketing Services Council in Abu Dhabi.

Cyber security for the so-called “internet of things” – the increased connectedness of physical devices through the internet – could still be improved, he said.

“We must protect ourselves from those that would do our society harm via hacked and inserted kill switches that could make our everyday equipment useless,” said Mr Cochran.

cmalek@thenational.ae

About Seez

Company name/date started: Seez, set up in September 2015 and the app was released in August 2017  

Founder/CEO name(s): Tarek Kabrit, co-founder and chief executive, and Andrew Kabrit, co-founder and chief operating officer

Based in: Dubai, with operations also in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon 

Sector:  Search engine for car buying, selling and leasing

Size: (employees/revenue): 11; undisclosed

Stage of funding: $1.8 million in seed funding; followed by another $1.5m bridge round - in the process of closing Series A 

Investors: Wamda Capital, B&Y and Phoenician Funds 

Recycle Reuse Repurpose

New central waste facility on site at expo Dubai South area to  handle estimated 173 tonne of waste generated daily by millions of visitors

Recyclables such as plastic, paper, glass will be collected from bins on the expo site and taken to the new expo Central Waste Facility on site

Organic waste will be processed at the new onsite Central Waste Facility, treated and converted into compost to be re-used to green the expo area

Of 173 tonnes of waste daily, an estimated 39 per cent will be recyclables, 48 per cent  organic waste  and 13 per cent  general waste.

About 147 tonnes will be recycled and converted to new products at another existing facility in Ras Al Khor

Recycling at Ras Al Khor unit:

Plastic items to be converted to plastic bags and recycled

Paper pulp moulded products such as cup carriers, egg trays, seed pots, and food packaging trays

Glass waste into bowls, lights, candle holders, serving trays and coasters

Aim is for 85 per cent of waste from the site to be diverted from landfill 

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Qureos
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2021
Number of employees: 33
Sector: Software and technology
Funding: $3 million

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

RESULTS

6pm: Marfa Deira – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: Wadheha, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Majed Al Jahouri (trainer)
6.35pm: Dubai Creek – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Barq Al Emarat, Bernardo Pinheiro, Ismail Mohammed
7.10pm: Mina Hamriya – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Tahdeed, Dane O’Neill, Michael Costa
7.45pm: Mina Rashid – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,900m
Winner: Seyaasi, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer
8.20pm: Al Garhoud Sprint DP World – Listed (TB) Dh132,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Mouheeb, Ray Dawson, Michael Costa
8.55pm: Mirdiff Stakes Jebel Ali Port – Conditions (TB) Dh120,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Seyouff, Antonio Fresu, Michael Costa
9.30pm: Jebel Ali Free Zone – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Ajuste Fiscal, Jose da Silva, Julio Olascoaga

Company Profile

Company name: NutriCal

Started: 2019

Founder: Soniya Ashar

Based: Dubai

Industry: Food Technology

Initial investment: Self-funded undisclosed amount

Future plan: Looking to raise fresh capital and expand in Saudi Arabia

Total Clients: Over 50

Things Heard & Seen

Directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, James Norton

2/5

The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2.0L TSI
Transmission: Dual clutch 7-speed
Power: 320HP / 235kW
Torque: 400Nm
Price: from $49,709
On sale: now

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

Zayed Centre for Research

The Zayed Centre for Research is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and was made possible thanks to a generous £60 million gift in 2014 from Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Meydan racecard:

6.30pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (PA) Group 1 | US$75,000 (Dirt) | 2,200 metres

7.05pm: UAE 1000 Guineas (TB) Listed | $250,000 (D) 1,600m

7.40pm: Meydan Classic Trial (TB) Conditions $100,000 (Turf) 1,400m

8.15pm: Al Shindagha Sprint (TB) Group 3 $200,000 (D) 1,200m

8.50pm: Handicap (TB) $175,000 (D) 1,600m

9.25pm: Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) | 2,000m

10pm: Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 1,600m

5 of the most-popular Airbnb locations in Dubai

Bobby Grudziecki, chief operating officer of Frank Porter, identifies the five most popular areas in Dubai for those looking to make the most out of their properties and the rates owners can secure:

• Dubai Marina

The Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence are popular locations, says Mr Grudziecki, due to their closeness to the beach, restaurants and hotels.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh482 to Dh739 
Two bedroom: Dh627 to Dh960 
Three bedroom: Dh721 to Dh1,104

• Downtown

Within walking distance of the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the famous fountains, this location combines business and leisure.  “Sure it’s for tourists,” says Mr Grudziecki. “Though Downtown [still caters to business people] because it’s close to Dubai International Financial Centre."

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh497 to Dh772
Two bedroom: Dh646 to Dh1,003
Three bedroom: Dh743 to Dh1,154

• City Walk

The rising star of the Dubai property market, this area is lined with pristine sidewalks, boutiques and cafes and close to the new entertainment venue Coca Cola Arena.  “Downtown and Marina are pretty much the same prices,” Mr Grudziecki says, “but City Walk is higher.”

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh524 to Dh809 
Two bedroom: Dh682 to Dh1,052 
Three bedroom: Dh784 to Dh1,210 

• Jumeirah Lake Towers

Dubai Marina’s little brother JLT resides on the other side of Sheikh Zayed road but is still close enough to beachside outlets and attractions. The big selling point for Airbnb renters, however, is that “it’s cheaper than Dubai Marina”, Mr Grudziecki says.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh422 to Dh629 
Two bedroom: Dh549 to Dh818 
Three bedroom: Dh631 to Dh941

• Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah's proximity to luxury resorts is attractive, especially for big families, says Mr Grudziecki, as Airbnb renters can secure competitive rates on one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh503 to Dh770 
Two bedroom: Dh654 to Dh1,002 
Three bedroom: Dh752 to Dh1,152 


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