Apple Thanks Saudi For Detecting Security Flaw


Photo: ARAB NEWS


- Apple thanked the Saudi, on its website, included her name in a list of contributors to its system.

- Al-Harbi is a PhD candidate at the computer science department of the University of California

JEDDAH: Fatima Al-Harbi has attracted Saudi and global attention for discovering a security flaw in the most powerful security systems of Apple, Microsoft and Linux. 

Apple thanked her and, on its website, included her name in a list of contributors to its system.

Al-Harbi, who was born and raised in Jeddah, is a PhD candidate at the computer science department of the University of California, Riverside.

“I’m also a lecturer at the College of Computer Science and Engineering at Taibah University, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia,” she told Arab News. 

Al-Harbi holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in computer science from King Abdulaziz University and California State University, respectively.

She became interested in cybersecurity during her undergraduate studies. “I took a security course that was instructed by Prof. Omaimah Bamasak, who delivered the subject in a very interesting way,” Al-Harbi said.

“This influenced my decision to work in the field of cybersecurity, and specifically in information and network security.”

Speaking of her discovery of the security flaw, Al-Harbi said: “I contacted Apple, informed them about the vulnerability in the system, and shared with them all the technical details and code.”

She added: “The company contacted me immediately and informed me that they’ll release a new update for all Apple devices. They then asked for my permission to add my name to the recognition list. Of course, with pride, I agreed and thanked them for that.” 

She said: “The problem I found enables any hacker to force the browser to visit a hacker-controlled site, making the victim believe it’s a safe site.” 

She added: “The victim types his or her personal login information, which the hacker will input in his database to use and take advantage of later.” 

Al-Harbi said she focuses on the detection and analysis of weaknesses or defects in security networks. 

“I have a good understanding of computer systems, both their design and implementation, including operating systems, software, network protocols and their interactions. 

Recently, I’ve been passionate about building systems that will have a long-term impact,” she added.

SOURCE: ARAB NEWS

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