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Police fight barrage of computer hackers
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 03:51:10 -0500 (CDT)


Ras Al Khaimah |By Nasouh Nazzal | 26-09-2001 

There were 5,000 attempts by professional hackers to invade the Dubai
Police computer network in the two hours prior to a visit by General
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and
Minister of Defence, to the Officers Club on June 15, a senior officer
has revealed.

Issa Salem Al Jalaf, head of police Strategic Planning, said that by
the time of Sheikh Mohammed's visit, when all car number plates had
been stored in the network, hackers attempted to invade it.

Al Jalaf, who is General Coordinator of Dubai e-government, said the
full resources of the police and Emirates Telecommunications Corp
(Etisalat) were used to foil the hackers.

Al Jalaf was speaking at the Ras Al Khaimah Police Officers Club
during a seminar on "The Security of Information and Computer Crimes".

About eight per cent of the hackers are employed by UAE companies.
Many of them planned post-graduate studies to become as professional
as possible in their destructive activities, he said.

Many UAE companies have lost billions of dirhams as a result of
hacking. Yet the UAE does not have a law specifically banning hacking,
although the Ministry of Justice is preparing one. Hackers are charged
on the basis of laws dealing with comparable crimes, he said.

Most large companies have no security systems to protect their
computer files, and those which do have installed them haphazardly.

Numerous companies have fallen victim to hackers, many of whom are
thieves seeking financial gain. Others are spies, collecting national
or industrial information. Others are company employees seeking
revenge, and still others are motivated by a desire for notoriety, he

The authorities should work with high-tech security companies, but
only after laws upholding security of information have been adopted,
he said.

Nobody can create a 100 per cent secure network. It is only possible
to make it difficult for hackers to gain access.

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