Two Qatari sisters donate QR2mn in endowment
Two Qatari sisters have donated more than QR2mn in the form of shares as an endowment for various charitable activities.
The donation was delivered to the Ministry of Endowment (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs to manage assets and spend the profits on various acts of charity and philanthropy.
Khalifa bin Jassim al-Kubaisi, director of the Endowment Banks Department at the ministry, praised the initiative and said it clearly displayed the spirit of giving and philanthropy within the Qatari society.
He thanked the philanthropic sisters, stressing that it many Qataris are donating endowments and the trend is growing within the local community.
Al-Kubaisi pointed out that the department has an exclusive section for women who are willing to give guidance on how to make donations.
He said profits from such endowments could be spent on educational development, family and child care, healthcare, promotion of the Holy Qur’an and service of mosques.
QR39,000 for victim in rash driving case
A Criminal Court has directed an Arab expatriate to pay QR39,000 for rash driving and knocking down an Asian pedestrian with his car, local Arabic daily Arrayah has reported.
Around 9.20pm on January 30, 2013, the motorist was driving in the Industrial Area when his car hit the pedestrian while the latter was crossing the road. The victim sustained serious injuries in the accident, the report states.
Later, a medical report issued by a hospital stated that the victim suffered 17% disability. Meanwhile, the victim sought his legal right to receive compensation, it adds.
Observing that the motorist was driving recklessly in violation of traffic laws, the court decided to convict him under Article 312/1 of the Penal Law and Article 94 of Law No 19 of 2007 (pertaining to traffic).
In view of the medical report, the court directed the motorist to pay, along with an insurance company, QR34,000 as compensation to the injured person. A separate fine of QR5,000 was also imposed on the accused, the report states.
Greetings to Afghanistan
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani have sent cables of congratulations to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on his country’s Independence Day.
CH2M Hill to work with Ashghal to improve road safety
Halcrow, a CH2M Hill company, has been awarded a Call-Off Consultancy Services contract to provide professional road safety engineering, road design, quantity surveying consultancy and contractor supervision services to the Assets Affairs – Roads Operations & Maintenance Department of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal).
The company will assist in delivering a road safety improvement programme with a budget of QR600mn over five years, according to an official.
CH2M Hill is a global full-service consulting, design, construction and operations firm.
The new commission will put CH2M Hill Halcrow at the forefront of the programme of initiatives outlined in Qatar’s National Road Safety Action Plan, which sets the country on a path towards an ambitious long-term vision of “a safe road transport system that protects all road users from death and serious injury”.
The firm will provide various technical resources and locate a number of transport specialists at Ashghal’s offices to help implement a series of road safety improvement programmes, including those affecting pedestrians, schools, rural roads and intersections.
The safety improvement projects will vary in scope and complexity, ranging from relatively minor improvements such as better signage to large-scale upgrades like new pedestrian overbridges or construction of additional lanes.
Max Clark, CH2M Hill’s transportation business development lead, MENAI, said: “CH2M Hill’s global transport planning experience and growing involvement in O&M and asset management projects in the Middle East made it the most qualified engineering consultancy to work with Ashghal to improve road safety in Qatar.”
Steve Kinghorn, CH2M Hill’s project co-ordinator and transportation leader in Qatar, said: “This is a crucial goal for our client and we are determined to help deliver on this by bringing together our best specialists and practices from across the world. We will be assisting in delivering a pioneering road safety improvement programme with a budget of QR600mn over the next five years.”
Expert warns of ‘dangers posed by energy drinks’
The Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Blind recently organised a lecture that raised awareness on the “dangers of energy drinks”, which have gained popularity among the youth, local Arabic daily Arrayah has reported.
In his lecture titled “The damage and risks of energy drinks”, Dr Sameer Abdullah of the Qatar Committee for Combating Steroids warned that while energy drinks are marketed as beverages that raise mental and physical alertness, the products pose more dangers to health rather than benefits.
In a 2007 report, Dr Abdullah said the US Food and Drug Administration warned that some companies have been promoting energy drinks as “healthy” alternatives to vitamins and other health supplements.
Energy drinks contain the same nutrients found in soft drinks, but the concentration of caffeine in energy drinks is higher than those found in soft drinks, Dr Abdullah pointed out.
Consuming energy drinks causes side-effects such as addiction or osteoporosis and can damage the liver. Energy drinks also drain the body of liquids, increase blood pressure, reduce tissue response to insulin, and cause chronic headaches and sleep disorders, Dr Abdullah added.
Businesses must ‘manage cyber risks, weaknesses’
Starting from the most senior level, Qatar’s businesses must make cyber security a business process, and deploy solutions that cover the entire attack continuum – before, during, and after a cyber attack, it has been suggested.
“While Qatar’s companies are innovating their future using the Internet, they face unprecedented risks caused by situations out of their control – from geopolitical events to natural disasters,” explained Mohamed Hammoudi, Cisco’s general manager for Qatar.
“As a result, company executives need to understand, create awareness, and manage cyber risks and weaknesses in the security chain,” he reiterated in a statement announcing the release of Cisco’s 2014 Midyear Security Report, which examines the “weak links” in organisations that contribute to Qatar’s increasingly dynamic threat landscape.
In the Middle East, geopolitical events are creating new trends in the cyber realm, expanding the risk landscape for businesses, governments, and other organisations and individuals, the report has pointed out.
Due to recent drought, floods, and unrest affecting supplies and infrastructure across the wider Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Russia (EMEAR) region, the top five most at-risk industry verticals for mobile malware encounters during the first half of 2014 were agriculture and mining, transportation and shipping, food and beverage, government, and media and publishing. In EMEAR, food and beverage saw the highest number of web malware encounters.
As a result, weak links –outdated software, bad code, abandoned digital properties, or user errors – contribute to the adversary’s ability to exploit vulnerabilities, with methods such as Domain Name System (DNS) queries, exploit kits, amplification attacks, point-of-sale (POS) system compromise, malvertising, ransomware, and infiltration of encryption protocols, social engineering and “life event” spam.
The report also shows that focusing on only high-profile vulnerabilities rather than on high-impact, common and stealthy threats put these organisations at greater risk. By proliferating attacks against low-profile legacy applications and infrastructure with known weaknesses, malicious actors are able to escape detection as security team’s focus instead on boldface vulnerabilities, such as Heartbleed.
Globally, researchers closely examined 16 large multinational organisations, which, as of 2013, collectively controlled over $4 trillion in assets with revenues in excess of $300bn. This analysis yielded three compelling security insights tying enterprises to malicious traffic. The first was that “Man-in-the-Browser” attacks pose a risk for enterprises: Nearly 94% of customer networks observed in 2014 have been identified as having traffic going to websites that host malware.
The second was Botnet hide and seek: Nearly 70% of networks were identified as issuing DNS queries for Dynamic DNS Domains. This shows evidence of networks misused or compromised with botnets using DDNS to alter their IP address to avoid detection/blacklist.
The third was encrypting stolen data: Nearly 44% of customer networks observed in 2014 have been identified as issuing DNS requests for sites and domains with devices that provide encrypted channel services, used by malicious actors to cover their tracks by exfiltrating data using encrypted channels to avoid detection.
The number of exploit kits has dropped by 87% since the alleged creator of the widely popular Blackhole exploit kit was arrested last year, according to Cisco security researchers. Several exploit kits observed in the first half of 2014 were trying to move in on territory once dominated by the Blackhole exploit kit, but a clear leader has yet to emerge.
Java continues to be the programming language most exploited by malicious actors. Cisco security researchers found that Java exploits rose to 93% of all indicators of compromise (IOCs) as of May 2014, following a high point of 91% of IOCs in November 2013 as reported in the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report.
For the first half of 2014, worldwide the top three verticals most at risk for web malware encounters were media and publishing, pharmaceutical and chemical, and aviation.