Bitcoin Twitter hack does not concern many Saudis

Accounts like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West were among those sending the tweet due to the hack.
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Updated 17 July 2020

Bitcoin Twitter hack does not concern many Saudis

  • Wednesday’s attack came in the guise of a charitable offering to help the world through the pandemic

JEDDAH/RIYADH: After Wednesday’s Twitter hack against social media sites’ verified accounts, Saudis showed no signs of worry as to whether or not this in any way endangers their online activity.

The bitcoin scam that took over Twitter came in the guise of a charitable request to help the world through the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with a code attached at the bottom to transfer bitcoin with the promise of an increase to double the amount offered.
Accounts like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West were among those sending the tweet due to the hack.
As a result, the bitcoin wallet managed to collect $110,000, and Twitter had to suspend several verified accounts. Saudi cybersecurity expert Abdullah Al-Jaber told Arab News that hackers use bitcoin to get money from people because it is untraceable.
“Unlike banking systems, cryptocurrency doesn’t have a regulator to check how the money is being collected and used,” he said.
In this Twitter hack, the attacker leveraged verified accounts to carry out the scam. Due to social engineering, some people believed it to be true and they transferred their money for a quick cash-back, he explained, adding that the bitcoin wallet collected up to 400 transactions.
Al-Jaber said that people should not fret. “I believe at this point, there’s no concern for a user to lose their account. However, they should always be alert whenever someone suspicious or a scam message pops up asking for money or sending conspicuous links,” he said.
Based on tweets from the Twitter Support, the hack was diagnosed to be due to an internal issue. The hackers managed to target Twitter employees who had access to internal systems and tools.
Rania Al-Ghamdi, a 28-year-old Saudi from Jeddah, thought that people should know better than to trust monetary exchanges online in this age.
“If anyone sends you asking for money so they can double it up and return it, that’s a scam … no matter who is that person, famous or not,” she told Arab news.
She also believes that anyone who promotes bitcoin instead of actual currency is pretty much involved in illegal actions.
“I think people nowadays are more aware and have more experience about these scams. Most people know that bitcoin is not a legitimate currency, therefore no one would fall for it. However, hacking social media accounts is exposing personal information which is the dangerous part, not the scams,” she added.
Nora Al-Rifai, a life coach from Jeddah, talked about a similar hacking wave that swept through the Kingdom recently.
“Just a few months ago, there was a similar hack going around WhatsApp between family and friend groups. It was a lot heftier as well, as the hacker managed to get your chat details and imitated your chat patterns to the point where it was believable. But you still make sure who your money is being sent to or if it is going where you think it’s going. To your uncle who suddenly messaged you to transfer SR 500, or your friend who couldn’t get her card to swipe at an H&M.”
Al-Rifai said that the tweets smelled like a scam once she had seen them.
“I feel bad for the victims, but again, this goes to show how you shouldn’t believe everything you read just because it’s from a verified account,” she added.
Jana Baleegh, a 19-year-old university student in Jeddah, was speechless when she saw the numbers.
“I can’t believe 400 people fell for it,” she told Arab News, “but that’s the influence of social media and celebrities. People tend to believe them over common sense.”


Saudi Arabia will judge new Iran president Raisi by ‘reality on the ground’ — FM

Updated 23 June 2021

Saudi Arabia will judge new Iran president Raisi by ‘reality on the ground’ — FM

  • Prince Faisal says ‘very concerned’ about unanswered questions on Iran’s nuclear program
  • Austrian foreign minister: Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia are unacceptable

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will judge Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi’s government by “the reality on the ground,” the Kingdom’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
“From our perspective, foreign policy in Iran is in any case run by the supreme leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and therefore we base our interactions and our approach to Iran on the reality on the ground, and that is what we will judge the new government on, regardless of who is in charge,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a news conference with his Austrian counterpart during his official visit to the capital, Vienna.
He said he was “very concerned” about unanswered questions on Iran’s nuclear program, an apparent reference to the UN nuclear watchdog seeking explanations on the origin of uranium particles found at undeclared sites in Iran.

Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies continue to pressure Iran over its nuclear program, which Tehran says is entirely peaceful, and its ballistic missiles. US intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe Iran had a secret, coordinated nucleaar weapons program that it halted in 2003.
Raisi, a hard-line judge who secured an expected election victory on Saturday, said on Monday he wanted to improve ties with Gulf Arab neighbors.

Biden administration officials are insisting that the election of Raisi won’t affect prospects for reviving the faltering 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. But there are already signs that their goal of locking in a deal just got tougher, according to The Associated Press.

Optimism that a deal was imminent faded as the latest talks ended on Sunday without tangible indications of significant progress.

Raisi is likely to raise Iran’s demands for sanctions relief in return for Iranian compliance with the deal, as he himself is already subject to US human rights penalties.

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“I don’t envy the Biden team,” said Karim Sadjapour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has advised multiple US administrations on Iran. “I think the administration now has a heightened sense of
urgency to revise the deal before Raisi and a new hard-line team is inaugurated.”

Meanwhile, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg condemned the continuous Houthi attacks on civilians in Saudi Arabia, describing such assaults as “unacceptable.”

Prince Faisal said the Houthi militia has regularly rejected initiatives for a complete cease-fire, and have always resorted to escalate the situation.

Farhan said Saudi Arabia and Austria shared a “similar vision” regarding the region’s stability, while Schallenberg said his country supports developments taking place in across Saudi Arabia in several areas.

Prince Faisal met for talks with Schallenberg at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the two sides discussed opportunities for joint cooperation, developing bilateral relations, and ways to develop them in various fields, especially in light of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.
They also discussed ways to enhance joint coordination to serve the interests of the two countries, and the most prominent regional and international developments.
(With Reuters)

Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies continue to pressure Iran over its ballistic missiles and the nuclear program, which Tehran says is entirely peaceful.

US intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe Iran had a secret, coordinated nuclear weapons program that it halted in 2003.


Who’s Who: Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya, director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts

Updated 22 June 2021

Who’s Who: Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya, director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts

Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya has been appointed director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts.

Al-Yahya will be responsible for managing the institute, implementing its strategic directions and developing traditional arts in line with the institute’s vision.

She is one of the top academics in the field of art and design, having worked as a faculty member at Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University.

She also worked as a consultant, and was a member of advisory committees at the university and other organizations.

Al-Yahya obtained a master’s degree in art education and a Ph.D. in educational technology, as well as a Ph.D. in educational policies and leadership at the University of Northern Colorado, US.

She has authored research papers in various fields and participated in several scientific conferences.

The institute will launch its first training courses in September aimed at enriching traditional arts, training specialized national cadres, raising the level of public awareness, and preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

The Royal Institute of Traditional Arts is one the initiatives of the Quality of Life Program, part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

The Ministry of Culture aims to develop the local cultural sector through education and knowledge. The institute will provide advanced educational programs to prepare young Saudis to help the Kingdom develop its cultural sector along modern lines.


Who’s Who: Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, new president of International Association of Public Transport

Updated 21 June 2021

Who’s Who: Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, new president of International Association of Public Transport

Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail was recently appointed president of UITP, the International Association of Public Transport, a global network that brings together all public transport modes.

The association gives 1,600 member companies access to 18,000 transport bodies in 99 countries. It is a champion of sustainable urban mobility.

Al-Hogail is the first Arab to be appointed association president and the second from a non-European country in UITP’s 135-year history. His appointment is testimony to Saudi Arabia’s increasing competency in the public transport sector.

Al-Hogail has been the CEO of the Saudi Public Transport Co. (SAPTCO) since 2006. He is also chairman of Saudi Emirates Educational Transport Co.

During his long association with SAPTCO, Al-Hogail has contributed to the development of the public transport sector and is playing a key role in helping the Kingdom achieve Vision 2030 goals related to the transport sector.

He gained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at King Saud University in Riyadh, and also has completed training courses in management, leadership, planning and strategy.

Al-Hogail is a member of several national and international companies and associations, such as the Arab Union for Land Transport, the Saudi Bahraini Transport Co., Saudi-French Business Council, Saudi-Indian Business Council, Saudi-Bahraini Business Council, the National Council for Tourism, and the Arab Management Association.

He has won many awards, including the distinguished member award of the Arab Land Transport Union.

 


KSrelief chief meets Japanese envoy in Riyadh

Updated 20 June 2021

KSrelief chief meets Japanese envoy in Riyadh

The supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, met Japanese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Iwai Fumio, in Riyadh on Sunday.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of mutual interest related to humanitarian and aid affairs, and ways of enhancing cooperation.

Fumio praised KSrelief’s humanitarian and relief projects and programs aimed at helping countries and people in need around the world.

He also commended relations between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Also on Sunday, Al-Rabeeah met Saudi ambassador to Tajikistan, Walid Al-Rasheedan.

The pair discussed issues of common interest related to rescue and humanitarian work between the Kingdom, represented by KSrelief, and Tajikistan, in addition to projects executed by KSrelief in the country.

Al-Rasheedan praised the efforts of KSrelief in support of impoverished people around the world, especially in Tajikistan, which comes as a result of support for KSrelief by the Kingdom’s leadership.

 

 


Who’s Who: Dr. Badar Al-Harbi,  deputy director general  at Saudi Arabia’s Institute of Public Administration

Updated 21 June 2021

Who’s Who: Dr. Badar Al-Harbi,  deputy director general  at Saudi Arabia’s Institute of Public Administration

Dr. Badar Al-Harbi has been the deputy director general for training affairs at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) since 2016.

Al-Harbi, who has also been an assistant professor of health administration at the IPA since 2011, received a bachelor’s degree in health services administration from King Saud University in 2000. 

Four years later, Al-Harbi was granted a master’s degree in the same field from Florida International University, US. In 2011, he obtained a Ph.D. in health services management from the University of New England, Australia.

In 2005, he received Prince Bander bin Sultan Al-Saud’s Award for Academic Excellence from the Saudi Embassy in the US. The same year, he was listed on the American Chancellor’s List for High Academic Performance.

In June 2016, he spent four months as the director general of the IPA’s center for the development of administrative leaders. Prior to that, he worked for nearly two years as the institute’s manager of health sector, He had also served as a health sector coordinator at the IPA from 2013 to 2014.

From 2004 to 2011, Al-Harbi was a lecturer in the health administration of the IPA, where he had worked as an assistant trainer for four years beginning in 2000.

Al-Harbi has been a board member of the National Institute for Educational Development since January 2021. He has also been a member of the IPA’s scientific council since 2019. Moreover, he is a board member of the Human Resources Development Fund since 2018, where he is also the chairman of the internal audit committee since 2019.