Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

6th International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ successfully held in Rabat, Morocco

Home   /   6th International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ successfully held in Rabat, Morocco

The 6th International Workshop on ‘Internet Security: Enhancing Information Exchange Safeguards’ was held from 19th to 23rd December 2016, in Rabat, Morocco. The event was jointly organized by COMSATS; the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); and the Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT). The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Director (Science and Technology), ISESCO, on the morning of 19th December 2016, at ISESCO’s Headquarters in Rabat. The inaugural ceremony was attended by a number of IT professionals, researchers and students, belonging to universities, R&D organizations and government departments of Morocco.

During his address, Dr. Tariq Mahmood welcomed and thanked the subject experts/resource persons as well as foreign and local participants for their participation in the event. He stated that the rate of evolution of Internet is very high, as the world-wide demand of connectivity is increasing, which requires IT experts and cyber security professionals to continuously update their knowledge and skills. He informed that ISESCO is striving to create a critical mass of IT experts in the Islamic countries, in order to protect information available online. In this regard, he admired the five resource persons of the workshop for traveling long distances in order to train the participating IT professionals and update their skill-sets so that they in turn effectively perform their duties, and possibly contribute as master trainers in their respective organizations/countries in the future. He hoped that the event, which is the last capacity building activity of ISESCO for the year 2016, will be able to achieve the desired results, and thanked COMSATS and INIT for collaboration in this regard.

Earlier, Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Executive Director COMSATS, in his message read out on the occasion by Mr. Tajammul Hussain, Advisor (Programmes) COMSATS, extended gratitude to ISESCO and INIT for joining hands with COMSATS in order to organize the workshop. He noted that the general public and organizations/companies rely heavily on computers, laptops and smart phones connected to the Internet for performing various day-to-day activities. He stated that the cloud-based operations require the information/personal documents to be stored on remote servers, which render organizations, particularly businesses and financial institutions, at a higher risk as the stolen internal documents can cause a tremendous amount of financial losses. He, therefore, stressed the need of capacity-building of cyber security professionals and IT experts in order to ensure that the identities, documents and passwords of individuals, organizations and businesses are not compromised. He acknowledged the consistent support of ISESCO and INIT towards COMSATS’ programmes and activities in the common Member States, and looked forward to more fruitful collaboration in future.

Mr. Tahir Naeem, Executive Director INIT, stated that Internet is continuously evolving, and has been successful in reducing the cost of, and increasing the convenience in, many daily life activities. However, he noted that the online environment is infinite and much less governed, due to which the cyber crimes and misuse of information available on Internet is a critical issue having tremendous financial consequences. He, therefore, called for greater efforts and collaboration in order to safeguard the online environment. He also shared the mission and ongoing activities of his organization in the field of Information Technology.

The technical sessions of the five-day workshop were attended by 40 young researchers, academicians, system administrators and cyber security professionals, belonging to Palestine, Uzbekistan, Iran, Sudan, The Gambia, Ivory Coast, and Morocco. The event provided a forum to the participating researchers and professionals to learn about the latest advancements in the field of Internet security; use of state-of-the-art technologies for protection of network and network accessible resources from different types of software attacks; and working out effective Internet/information security solutions for general public, governmental organizations and commercial enterprises through rigorous risk analyses and security management approaches.

During the first technical session, Dr. Haider Abbas, Research Fellow/Assistant Professor, Center of Excellence in Information Assurance, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, imparted training on ‘Organizational Security’. During the session, he covered the following topics: Certification of Organizations; Practical Approaches to Organizational Information Security Management; ISO 27001: Information Security Management System; Risk Assessment; Risk Calculation Methods and Treatment Strategies; Gap Analysis; Information Security Policy/Procedures Writing; and Information Assets Identifications & Valuation. He also conducted practical exercises on: Gap Analysis; Risk Assessment & Treatment; Statement of Applicability; Internal/External Auditing; and Organization’s Certification Process.

The second technical session was conducted by Mr. Zafar Iqbal Mir, Deputy Head, Information Security Risk, MENA – HSBC, UAE. He covered topics related to dissecting a cyber-attack, including Reconnaissance (Recon), Scanning, Gaining Access, Maintaining Access, and Covering and Hiding Tracks. He also touched upon topics related to various types of attacks, including Anatomy of a Sample Distributed DoS (DDoS) Attacks, Evolution of Botnet Configurations and DDoS Attacks, the concept of Kill Chain, Mitigation Techniques and Layered Security Approach.

The third session was conducted by Mr. Syed Mustafa Raza, Director – Solutions & Consulting (Info Sec), IXTEL Dubai, and Consultant (Pre-sales Solutions), Gulf Bridge International, Qatar Foundation Group, UAE. He imparted training on the following aspects of cyber security: Defining Vulnerability, Exploit, Threat and Risk; Creating a Vulnerability Report; Conducting an Initial Scan; Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) List; Vulnerability Detection Methods; Types of Scanners; Port Scanning and OS Fingerprinting; Enumerating Targets to Test Information Leakage; Types of Exploits: Worm, Spyware, Backdoor, Rootkits, and Denial of Service (DoS); Deploying Exploit Frameworks; Implementing Scanner Operations and Configuration; Choosing Credentials, Ports and Dangerous Tests; Creating Custom Vulnerability Tests; Customizing Nessus Scans; Filtering and Customizing Reports; Interpreting Complex Reports; and Contrasting the Results of different scanners.

During the fourth session, Mr. Asad Raza, Professional Technical Faculty Member, Information Security Engineering Department, Institute of Applied Technology, UAE, imparted training on: Steps in Incident Handling; Information Gathering and Reconnaissance; Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows; Metasploit Framework; Exploits and Payloads; Auxiliary Modules; Security Issues in Wireless Networks; Social Engineering Toolkit and Prevention Methods.

The final session of the workshop was conducted by Mr. Muhammad Faheem Qureshi, Lecturer, Abu Dhabi Polytechnic, Institute of Applied Technology, UAE, during which he covered the following aspects of Digital Forensics: Evidence Handling; Roles and Responsibilities; Phases of a Digital Forensic Process; Memory Forensics; Storage Forensics; and Microsoft Windows Forensics. All the technical sessions were highly interactive.

Speaking at the Concluding Ceremony held on 23rd December 2016, Dr. Tariq Mahmood thanked the subject experts/resource persons of the workshop for sharing knowledge and expertise with participants. He called for greater collaboration among the developing countries in this important field. Dr. Mahmood thanked the Organizing Committee members from ISESCO, INIT and COMSATS for working hard to make this event a success. He also thanked the local and foreign participants for their active participation during the workshop. He hoped that the connections made during the workshop will be maintained for future collaborations and learning.

The ceremony concluded with the distribution of certificates by the representatives of ISESCO, COMSATS and INIT among the resource persons, local and foreign participants, and Organizing Committee members.

Upcoming Events

Workshop on Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination, at National Research Centre, Egypt
Mar 11 – Mar 12 all-day

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Theme: “Rational Use of Water Resources”

Background and Rationale of the Workshop

Many parts of the world today are confronted by an acute water crisis that has several facets, including water deprivation among the world’s poor, fast-rising global water demand and climate change. The water security and poverty nexus is a particularly serious issue for development. Economic activity and growth, which are necessary for job creation and raising incomes in developing countries, depend on adequate, affordable and reliable supplies of water.

One of the main goals of the UN to be achieved by 2030 is to “substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity” (SDG No. 6).


Keeping in mind the SDG number 17: “Partnerships for the Goals”; the National Research Centre (NRC), Cairo and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), Islamabad are co-organizing a workshop entitled “Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination”.

Aims and Objectives

The workshop is designed to be an intensive co-working for specialists in the academic, administration and industrial sectors in all subjects of interest related to Science, Technology and Innovation. It will give them an opportunity to discuss, exchange opinion and reach recommendations of how to maximize efforts for rational use of water resources.

Targeted Participants

This event targets a wide range of participants, including:

  • Young scientists working in Science, Technology and Innovation with specific emphasis on water resources.
  • Academician working in industrial and service sectors related to water resources, and
  • Mid-to senior-level government officials in related Ministries.


All technical and discussion sessions of the workshop will be conducted in English language.

Financial Support

Accommodation for three nights in a suitable hotel and local transportation for international speakers and local administrative expenses of the workshop will be covered by NRC, Egypt. The economy class airfare and perdiam of the selected international speakers will be covered by COMSATS.


1. Water crisis in different parts of the world
2. Successful stories in water desalination
3. Successful stories in rational use of water in industrial sectors
4. Successful stories for rational use of water in agriculture
5. Future outlook regarding cooperative programs and projects among COMSATS Member States
6. Water recycling and utilization

How to Apply

Applications for participation (duly filled-in prescribed form, abstract of presentation, detailed CV and passport copy) are required to be submitted to NRC and COMSATS no later than Monday, 31st December 2018, at the following addresses:

Prof. Hosam El-Sayed
Assistant Vice President for Research &
International Relations
National Research Centre
33, El-Behouth St., 12311-Dokki,
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+20 100) 544 36 51
Fax: (+202 333) 701010

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad – Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539

The 22nd Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, 16-17 April 2019, Tianjin, China
Apr 16 – Apr 17 all-day

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is pleased to announce the convening of the 22nd meeting of its Coordinating Council scheduled to be held in Tianjin, China, on 16 – 17 April 2019. The meeting will be hosted by COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence, the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. The meeting programme includes a visit to TIB’s laboratories on 18th April 2019.

The Coordinating Council meets every year, inter alia, to: review the activities of COMSATS’ Network; follow up on the decisions and recommendations made in the previous meeting; and outline the future course of action.

Invitations and Confirmation of Participation

The Executive Director COMSATS has extended invitations to all members of the Coordinating Council. The representatives of some international partner organizations have also been invited to participate in the meeting as Observers.

COMSATS Headquarters is closely coordinating with the host institution (TIB) to ensure timely arrangements.

Agenda and Working Paper

The provisional Agenda of the meeting has been prepared. The detailed Working Paper and associated documents of the meeting are under preparation and will be electronically distributed to the Council members and other invitees during first half of March 2019.

For further details, please contact:

COMSATS Secretariat, Pakistan TIB, China

Mr. Tajammul Hussain
Advisor (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9204892
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539

Prof. Dr. Jibin Sun
Deputy Director-General
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Tianjin, China
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: 0086-22-84861949
Fax: 0086-22-84861943

Ms. Qianqian Chai
Officer of Foreign Affairs and Academic Exchange
Division of Science and Technology Development
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS)
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: +86-2284861925