Complex Made Simple

Which career are most UAE youth choosing today?

We did an in-house survey at AMEinfo to find out if anyone could guess which career most UAE youth are considering today, and only 10 per cent could guess it right. Some 50 percent of our colleagues thought it was oil and gas, 20 per cent believed banking and finance, 10 per cent guessed management, and 10 per cent had no idea whatsoever.

And the answer is: A career in cybersecurity according to a new survey commissioned by Raytheon, Forcepoint and the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

The survey also discovered that the UAE has been successful in engaging most youth to try activities that would let them test their interest and aptitude for cybersecurity careers.

Read: What’s the cost of ransomware attacks on Middle East businesses?

Read: 7 essential steps to be cyber security aware

 Better safe than sorry

The report, “Securing Our Future: Cybersecurity and the Millennial Workforce”, surveyed 3,359 young adults aged 18 to 26 from nine countries across four continents.

The annual survey demonstrated young Emiratis are confident that their parents would know how to guide them to pursue a career in cybersecurity and educate them on staying safe online.

In addition, young Emiratis hold values that support a strong cybersecurity posture for their nation, saying they think cybersecurity issues are important and offering to serve in national security roles.

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The survey found that:

67 per cent of Emiratis surveyed reported they are more likely than a year ago to consider a job in cybersecurity, compared with 48 per cent regionally and 39 per cent globally

Some 64 per cent of Emirati youth have participated in or sought out cybersecurity job fairs, and 60 per cent have participated in or sought out mentoring programs in the field.

70 per cent of those who said they were more likely to choose a career in cybersecurity believe in the importance of a more secure internet, compared with 65 per cent in the region and 52 per cent globally.

When asked what types of organizations respondents would protect if they were a cybersecurity professional, 81 per cent of UAE youth chose the government, and 79 per cent selected the military

Said Shahzad Zafar, Cybersecurity Director, Raytheon International Inc. “The survey demonstrates the enhanced efforts the UAE has put in place to build the next generation of cyber defenders and safeguard its cyber future.”

DogHousePower- a new threat

UAE youth will have their hands full. The top ransomware that spread chaos and mayhem on global organizations included NotPetya, WannaCry, Locky, CrySis and others.

A recent one, had a kinder heart. It gave victims more time to pay and offered the chance to negotiate.

Shyaam Sundhar, Chief Architect – Threat Hunting & Analysis at Paladion Cyber Labs, said his company discovered the DogHousePower ransomware that specifically targets web servers and database servers running on the Windows Server operating system.

“The rise of Python based malwares could be attributed to the ease of coding it or for its cross-platform nature,” he said.

“The ransom request file had partial messages in Chinese, which could’ve been inserted to misdirect victims and analysts on the origins of the message.”

The ransom amount was requested in bit coins equivalent to 5000 Yuan ($753), hinting at the ransomeware being directed to an Asian population or that it originated from there.

According to the note, victims had three days to pay in bit coins a mentioned address.

The attackers stated that the price can be negotiated, and that if the victims took more than 3 days they need to pay 6000 yuan ($900), or if they take more than 7 days they need to pay 7000 yuan ($1054) – all in Zcash.

It finally warned that if payment is not received within 13 days files will not be decrypted.

To get the files decrypted after the payment is made, a contact email address (atlantiscfyandexcom) was provided with instructions to send payment, screen shot, and ID. The attackers said that the files will be decrypted via email and that each email should not exceed 10mb.

The instructions included supported languages; English, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese, and provided instructions on buying Bitcoins in China.

“A note from the attacker also said that they are being considerate in allowing users to access Windows, Documents, and Settings as usual,” said Sundhar.