Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hack in the Box: Dubai 2007

Here are some pics of my participation at a recent Security Conference that took place in Dubai, UAE.

Hack in the Box Security Conference Dubai 2007

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My Certificate from HITB:

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Snapshot with the HITB Banner:

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Sam Abdul Rahim Foroutani

Security Advisor Middle East

How many users know how secure are their information systems from possible cyber-attacks?

With technology evolving steps forward into the future, more devices are being manufactured to reach the flexibility of the end users. Information Systems provide end-users the ease to browse through their daily interests, conduct their businesses and simply add value to their knowledge knowing what a huge library the internet represents.

With all the benefits users are taking advantage off, other users tend to generate malicious intentions to cause destruction to different targets. These targets varry from a huge Multi-National Firm, down to a single user.

The moral behind this post is to educate people about Security awareness and its importance. It is important to know your systems very well, and not only to simply "Think" you're secure, but to also put security into practice by making attempts to breach your own systems to test whether your security features are in place.

The key to all the security emphasis remains in the hands of the users themselves. Whether they were regular home-users or security professionals, the need to approach a safe environment for internet users must be intact. Regular users must not totally depend on security experts to solve their problems, however small breaches made by many people turn out to be a reason of not giving much attention and simply lack of awareness.

Hackers and Crackers are everywhere and regular internet users are either not aware of their existence or are aware of them but in both cases don’t give much consideration. What my aim is pointing at clearly is the problem of both “Awareness” and raising the issue to alert people how important “Awareness” means and what significant changes could be done if they only had knew about security measures.

The big problem is, nobody is willing to dedicate belief into implementing the right security features UNTIL disaster strikes. That's when the feeling of regret kicks in and they finally tend to learn from their mistakes, but not all of them do. In Fact, the biggest threat to security is the human-being himself.

Finally, before you actually think of how strongly these tools you have installed are protecting you, it might be good idea to think of how aware are you of what malicious activities hackers could conduct to cause your network damage, steal your credentials, bring down your website, simply causing an inconvenience that's going to make you think "ONLY IF i knew about how important investing into security was, I wouldnt have suffered such loss or damage".

There is no 100% Security, but God gave us brains to gain knowledge and get educated. So educate yourself first, then think if it's really worth passing it onto others. Remember, with Security Awareness, you're always contributing to a safe, hacker-free, environment for all users to enjoy the use of technology and make use of its advantages of how it could simplify many things in our daily lives.

Recently I was interviewed by a lead Security Magazine "Security Advisor, Middle East" on the importance of educating the next generation users on how essential security becomes as technology evolves.

Here's a pic of both the Magazine, and the Interview.

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Sam Abdul Rahim Foroutani

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sinful Combo: Lie & Deception

Liars.... Liars..... Liars.... they are all over this world... A lie is basically an "UN-TRUTHFUL" statement made to someone else with the intention to deceive. Clearly a very bad intention and if transformed into a habit, it could lead to severe consquences in this life and the here-after. What makes people lie and deny the truth is a feature that exists in every human brain.

I directly quote this feature found in every human brain from the Quraan, where Allah (SWT) says: "Lies, aggression and hostility come from the prefrontal lobe of the brain (behind the forehead)". Below is an image that represents the words said for better explanation.

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Truthfulness is one of the pillarson which the moral survival of the world depends on. It is the foundation of praiseworthy characteristics and the foundation of the prophethood.

On the other hand, Islam has its perception on lying by allowing it to happen strictly with 3 cases, as described from the Sunnah.

It was narrated that Asma’ Bint Yazeed said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘It is not permissible to tell lies except in three (cases): when a man speaks to his wife in a way to please her; lying in war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.’”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1939)

A quote coming from Man-kind's perception on lies:

"Liars begin by imposing upon others, but end deceiving themselves"

Last but not least, i really support this paragraph as it really makes you think twice before you actually want to end up lying and become a slave to other people in this world. We are all slaves ONLY to one superior God, nothing more, nothing less....

"People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. A lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one's reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked. And if one gains the immediate purpose of the lie - the price one pays is the destruction of that which was intended to serve.

The man who lies to the world, is the world's slave from then on"

Sam Abdul Rahim Foroutani