Black Hat Abu Dhabi Showcases Vulnerabilities in Critical Infrastructure and Identity

Published November 16th, 2010 - 10:26 GMT

Black Hat Abu Dhabi concluded its activities today, after IT security experts from all around the world gathered in Abu Dhabi to discuss the latest in cyber security. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority represented by the UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT), in cooperation with Khalifa University of Science and Technology with UBM have brought to the Middle East Black Hat which brings together experts and companies in the IT security field to discuss the latest in IT security issues, trends, and solutions. The show took place in Emirates Palace from 8th - 11th November.

In a time where the U.A.E. is planning to introduce nuclear power, it is increasingly important to maintain a safe energy infrastructure. Jonathan Pollet, founder and Principal Consultant for Red Tiger Security discussed SCADA systems which control power distribution generation in power plants. He explained that while these systems used to be isolated in the past, they are becoming increasingly more connected to external networks, putting more and more at risk of being attacked. Identifying weaknesses in these systems and countering them is therefore crucial for the national security of all countries.

Another crucial topic to the U.A.E. is the use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Devices) technology, which is heavily used these days in various sectors from banking to travelling and official government documents. Adam Laurie, a freelance security consultant working the in the field of electronic communications explained that the improper installation of RFID chips on cards and documents can lead to disastrous consequences including identity theft and document forgery. Adam explains multiple methods to ensure the proper installation and implementation of these cards. With the biometrics attached to the U.A.E. National ID Card, SALIK toll gates and e-Gate passes (which utilize RFID), it became increasingly important to identify and counter these risks.

His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the TRA comments, "The digital world is evolving and changing at lightning speed; it has become critically important for all of us to be aware of latest updates and necessary procedures to protect our data. At a time where the UAE is at the forefront of technology applications in all aspects of life, it is now more important than ever to make sure that these applications are safe. Technology isn't leisure any more, it's a necessity and it is important for maintaining a functional society and a strong infrastructure. By bringing Black Hat to Abu Dhabi, we have shared years of knowledge that the speakers have accumulated in various fields and have shared it with every one for the improvement of society and the economy." 

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