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Cyber Espionage in the 21st Century

first_img The technological advancements in the second half of the 20th century revolutionized espionage activity, replacing human sources with highly complex and precise systems, such as image satellites, platforms to monitor signs and communications, and unmanned vehicles. In the 21st century, this process, characterized by the digital era, has been enhanced by incorporating the existing sources to a more aggressive component. Computer viruses are modular entities for espionage activities and they already show a strong tendency of becoming the main weapon in future wars, in the “super cyber weapons” category. The first cyber attack happened in 2003, in Estonia, causing great loss to the economy of that country. Since then it has been possible to evaluate the degree of vulnerability due to the increasing reliance on systems that are interconnected to various areas. This type of activity has been escalating internationally and each day millions of new spyware software is found. An evolution of the infamous Trojan Horse was discovered in 2009. The super virus Stuxnel and Flame, for example, were used to spy and neutralize systems that had confidential information on the Iranian nuclear program. More recently, a new super virus has been identified. It is similar to Flame, known as Madi, and it is used to spy on financial organizations and governmental authorities who have any type of confidential knowledge. Because of the high complexity of these super viruses, it has not been possible to evaluate the real extent of the damage caused by them, which can take years. However, as much as the losses, the gains can be immeasurable, due to the capability of consolidating or changing the configuration of the global power and influence. In any case, the current scenario leads us to believe that in future possible wars, humans will have a secondary position whose main role is to type on keyboards and press buttons. *André Luís Woloszyn is a strategic affairs analyst By Dialogo September 11, 2012last_img read more

Interview with NMDC’s Yasser Zaghloul: Utilizing the Latest Technologies in Dredging Sector

first_imgImage source: Marasi NewsEng. Yasser Zaghloul, Chief Executive Officer of National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC), has been recently interviewed by Marasi News and he said that the company developed and expanded its portfolio of projects and operations throughout 2018 and into 2019.In this exclusive interview, Zaghloul clarified that the company’s performance is based on its vision to reinforce its position as regional leader in marine dredging, and to provide the best services for all customers, especially with its competitive capabilities and infrastructure.Q: Can you give us an overview of the NMDC’s progress, and how have you reached this leading position?Zaghloul: The National Marine Dredging Company is a UAE public listed company that is a leader in marine dredging projects. Over four decades, NMDC has accumulated extensive experiences through implementing several pioneering projects.Thanks to its capabilities, expertise and exceptional workforce, NMDC is today one of the most prominent companies worldwide in marine dredging, drilling and deepening of waterways and ports, as well as marine construction work.We provide our services according to the highest international standards with highly-skilled and experienced national and foreign caliber. We have used our knowledge of the region and our understanding of its characteristics to develop techniques that have significantly raised security and safety standards.In order to maintain our global leadership, we have enhanced the company’s strategy that we have implemented for the past 10 years. This depends on key pillars including diversifying our portfolio, re-evaluating our structure and cost, and investing in infrastructure development according to our strategic plans.Q: What are your current priorities?Zaghloul: Despite the big challenges facing the maritime sector currently, NMDC is moving forward with ambitious plans to increase its capacity by implementing projects that are worth millions of dollars. Therefore, we take into account many priorities based on the new strategy to expand our portfolio and provide a range of distinguished services through state-of-the-art equipment and modern technologies.Image source: NMDCOur goal is to become “An Integrated and Leading Middle East EPC Contractor,’ especially that Abu Dhabi, with its world-class reputation, advanced infrastructure, and huge investment and service capabilities, has become one of the most attractive cities worldwide for international companies.One of our top priorities, which we consider to be a unique point of distinction, is that we strive to ensure our capability to meet customers’ needs. We seek to maintain the company’s position as the preferred choice locally, as well as increase our global competitiveness. I would like to reiterate our commitment to developing our capabilities to meet global market needs by utilizing the latest technologies in the marine dredging sector.NMDC uses a new generation of computerized large dredging vessels, where dredging levels can be automatically set.Q: Can you tell us about NMDC’s key projects and future expansions?Zaghloul: We have maintained excellent performance recently and have delivered new quality projects both locally and internationally. We successfully delivered the Zakum project, which was described as the most difficult project worldwide.This has helped NMDC claim a new global position among the best five marine drilling and dredging companies in the world.Image source: NMDCThe company continued implementing several government-related infrastructure projects in the UAE including the AED1.1 billion Khalifa Port expansion, deepening of existing channels in East of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port’s second container terminal, Hudaryiat Beach works and Ruwais Resort Island.Other non-government projects include reclaiming six hectares of land for public use at Makers District in Reem Island and backfilling at Bourouge in Ruwais. Earlier, we won an $82 million project in the Maldives as part of our international expansion strategy.In terms of our fleet expansions, we have recently added two dredgers from Royal IHC and Ravestein.Q: What about NMDC’s growth in 2018?Zaghloul: Inline with the company’s new strategy to focus on service diversification and personnel management, NDMC has achieved the planned financial and operational results for 2018 despite the difficulties encountered by the maritime sector locally and globally.We achieved 7% growth in revenue and 25% growth in profits compared to 2017. This was due to the joint efforts of the company’s board members and the management as well as working as one team.Q: NDMC recently won ADNOC’s Ghasha Concession project. What does this deal mean for you?Zaghloul: What’s more important than winning the project is ADNOC’s trust in our efficient services. This is not the first time that we collaborate on big projects. As per the contract, NMDC will construct 10 new artificial islands and two causeways, as well as expand an existing island; Al Ghaf.The project is expected to take 38 months to complete and will provide the infrastructure required to further develop, drill and produce gas from the sour gas fields in the Ghasha Concession, which consists of the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma, Nasr and Mubarraz offshore fields.At peak construction, the project is expected to employ over 3,500 people. I believe that awarding this AED5.1 billion project to a national company like us following a competitive tendering process, underlines ADNOC’s commitment to diversifying and supporting the national economy by creating a significant added value.Q: What about your recent projects in Egypt?Zaghloul: We are proud that the UAE and Egypt have robust ties that are role model for other countries, especially the economic relations. The UAE tops the list of countries that implement development projects and enter into economic partnerships in Egypt, especially in the Suez Canal area.NMDC in Suez, Image source: NMDCLast year, we established the Egyptian Emirates Marine Dredging Company (EEMDC) , as a result of our partnership between the Suez Canal Authority with a capital of 200 million Egyptian pounds.EEMDC recently won six projects valued at AED1.46 billion. The first is Ras Gargoub dredging, worth AED493.53 million; the second is Ras Gargoub Quay, worth AED84.5 million; the third is Port of Adabiya Quay, worth AED5.48 million; the fourth is Lake Manzala, worth AED414.67 million; the fifth is Damietta Port, worth AED54 million; and the sixth project is Ras Banas, worth AED65.6 million.Q: In your opinion, how important is it to qualify the UAE calibre in the maritime sector? And what does NMDC offer to them?Zaghloul: At NMDC, we are committed to training and developing our staff through regular and ongoing training programs, in order to develop their skills and capabilities. We have established a specialized programs for Emirati talents. The management supports the UAE’s Emiratization plans by providing effective programs targeting distinguished Emiratis. We also have the latest dredging vessel simulators that give a realistic experience to trainees.Our programs provide trainees with intensive academic and practical trainings to be able to review the latest technologies and acquire comprehensive information about marine dredging in general.These programs also help develop candidates’ capabilities and make them professionally prepared to contribute to the company’s development. Through these training programs, NMDC aims to encourage more Emiratis to join the maritime sector.Q: Safety and security are key issues worldwide. How do you meet the safety standards?Zaghloul: Health, safety, security and the environment are our top priorities in all our projects. People are our most valuable assets. That’s why, we give priority to health, safety, security and the environment measures at the expense of the financial aspect in our staff’s  key performance indicators.Since its establishment, NMDC has attracted highly-skilled and experienced professionals to implement the Integrated Health, Safety and Environment Management Program adopted by the Abu Dhabi Occupational Safety and Health Center, as well as supervise the training of staff in all departments to achieve a safe working environment.Q: In your opinion, what qualifies Abu Dhabi to be a global hub for the maritime sector?Zaghloul: Abu Dhabi has a clear vision to be a leader in all areas, especially the industrial and economic sectors. All Abu Dhabi-based organisations and companies thrive to achieve the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 to diversify the economy.The maritime sector is one of the key sectors that is making every effort to achieve the Emirate’s goals, and enhance its position as a leader and a global hub for the maritime sector. Abu Dhabi’s location coupled with its modern facilities and stat-of-the-art infrastructure play an important role in making the Emirate a strategic maritime center. Courtesy of Marasi Newslast_img read more

Twins prospect Royce Lewis, Torii Hunter have known each other for years … without knowing it

first_imgThe faces changed over the years – Howie Kendrick, Jered Weaver, Torii Hunter – but a baseball player’s quest for a good, late meal did not. It helped that visiting teams often stayed at the Westin Hotel down the street from Morton’s. Lewis said he gathered a decent collection of autographs over the years, something he could give his son one day.Years later, Lewis decided to strike out on his own. He opened his first Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Tustin in 2007. A third location opened its doors in La Jolla five months ago. Business is good. That ought to please Weaver and Erstad, whom Lewis said helped with his initial investment.Lewis, a former football wide receiver at Fullerton Junior College and Chico State, said he told his family that famous athletes sometimes stopped in for a meal. Hunter, a frequent diner during his years with the Angels (2008-12), just happened to be one of his oldest son’s favorite players. But if William Lewis specifically mentioned getting to know Hunter, Royce Lewis doesn’t remember.“(Hunter) gave my dad his phone number but he kept it real low-key,” Royce said. “He never told me (Hunter) was in his phone contacts. I’d ask him, ‘did you see him hit a home run?’ He’d say, ‘yeah it was cool.’”Royce Lewis turned into a pretty good baseball player himself. In four years at JSerra Catholic High, his team won three Trinity League championships. In 2016, Lewis won a gold medal with the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Pick an individual award given to the best baseball players in Southern California; Lewis probably won it. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error In June 2017, the Minnesota Twins held the first overall pick in the amateur draft. Hunter was nearly two years into his retirement and a special advisor to the Twins’ front office. He was the perfect bridge from chief baseball officer Thad Levine and General Manager Derek Falvey to whichever young man heard his name called atop the draft.Lewis, a shortstop, was the Twins’ choice at number 1. That was the day he remembers his father breaking the news: oh yeah, by the way, I’ve known Torii Hunter for years.That was the day William Lewis broke the news to Hunter: oh yeah, by the way, you just drafted my son.Hunter “was just surprised that I didn’t tell him,” William Lewis said. “Then he was happy for me. He said, ‘you didn’t tell me?’ I said I’m not going to talk about my kid who’s 10 years old when I met him. That’s how long ago it was.”Flash forward a year. Royce Lewis said he and Hunter have their own relationship now. After last season ended, Lewis spent about a week with Hunter at his home in Dallas. Just like his father, Royce Lewis didn’t always talk about baseball with Hunter: “Tutoring. Life skills. He taught me how to live my life, do it the right way.”The early reviews on Lewis the baseball player are good. He has a .302 batting average for the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Kernels, the Twins’ Class-A affiliate. Tuesday, he played in the Midwest League All-Star Game. William Lewis flew out for the occasion. Hunter was there, too. Royce Lewis went 1 for 2 with a single and a stolen base.The off-the-field reviews on Lewis are very similar to the off-the-field reviews of Hunter.“He’s such a good kid, he doesn’t want to disappoint anyone,” said Jeremy Zoll, the Twins’ director of minor league operations. “That comes in the form of answering all the fan mail, reading every letter, signing for the fans, saying yes to the interview requests. That’s different than being a high school player in Orange County, even with all the attention that comes with that. Toby Gardenhire (the Kernels’ manager) is trying to help him with it.”If there is a moral to this story, it’s that in baseball, it isn’t always about who you know.William Lewis had plenty of opportunities to share glowing reviews of his teenage son’s baseball career with the professional athletes who ate at his restaurant. He didn’t. He didn’t want to. His son got a $6.725 million signing bonus anyway.With Hunter, “we just talked about family, the kids, things like this – normal conversation, you know – and just feeding him a good meal,” William Lewis said. “If he wants a nice glass of wine, he knows where to go.”center_img As the Morton’s Steakhouse in South Coast Plaza wound down for the night, William Lewis was still pouring wine. A restaurateur’s hours are long, the perks often subtle.One subtle perk: it isn’t easy for a ballplayer to get clean, change his clothes, leave Angel Stadium after the final out, and still have time to eat a steak and drink a glass of wine. All of Orange County closes shop too soon, or at least it did back then, Lewis said. He began as a sommelier at Morton’s when Manager Terry Collins wore a pinstriped periwinkle jersey and Gary Disarcina, Dave Hollins, Troy Glaus and Darin Erstad were the big names in town. He saw them often.“They would call me,” Lewis recalled. “That’s how they got to know me because I would be open a little bit later. They would just give me a quick call. … We could take care of the guys, they would be in there for the most part by themselves. There wouldn’t be fans bugging them. They could have a nice dinner. They could just be guys eating their dinner, and they would get out of there.”As Lewis poured the wine – he was Morton’s sommelier and assistant general manager – he did not discuss baseball. Win or lose, the conversation was the same. How’s your wife? How are the kids? How’s the wine?last_img read more