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Networking Platform QPQ to be Launched in the UAE

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QPQ International an online networking platform that embraces three of the biggest trends of the future including sharing economy, artificial intelligence and blockchain principles would be launching in the UAE this week. The platform will cater to established business owners, entrepreneurs, SME’s, influencers and high-net-worth individuals, to help them network and collaborate on investments, projects, and grow their business in a safe, secure and trusted environment.

The new business referral network is the result of research and development by serial entrepreneur, Oksana Tashakova, who is also the founder of Wealth Dynamics Unlimited, a premier entrepreneurship education company.  QPQ has been Co-Founded by Omair Saoud Arar Al Dhaheri, who has spent 22 years as Director of Real Estate at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Chairman of Bin Arar Holding & Midein Energy of the UAE along with Global Strategic Partner Jason Michaud, who is also a partner at Canada-based Luiza Artificial Intelligence Technologies.

Omair Saoud Arar Al Dhaheri, Chairman & Co-Founder at QPQ.

Ahead of the official launch of the platform, Oksana Tashakova, Co-founder of QPQ said: “In today’s world, networking is a necessity. A mountain of research shows that professional networks lead to more job and business opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, improved capacity to innovate, faster advancement, and greater status and authority.

“Consumer behavior is evolving at a faster pace than many businesses can cope with. Traditional firms of all sectors are failing to deliver what their customers want and expect in the digital age. And, for those that fail to keep up, the impact can be substantial, which is why we find more businesses adopting technology as a key differentiator. QPQ has been launched to support this trend so that local companies don’t succumb to the pressure and remain at the forefront of this information technology revolution,” she further added.

According to the World Bank, growth in MENA is projected to increase from 2.1% to 3% and 3.4% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. However, prospects for better economic activity in this region will hinge on geopolitical developments and the dynamics of oil prices on global markets. Commenting on the economic outlook for the MENA region, Omair Saoud Arar Al Dhaheri, Chairman & Co-Founder at QPQ said: “Businesses have seen high levels of optimism in the first quarter of 2018 despite the implementation of VAT earlier this year.

“This is a testament to the fact that the region is seeing stronger support from the government in terms of spending, with investments across all sectors mainly in the construction and travel and tourism sector, ahead of the Expo 2020. Through QPQ we are mainly supporting the government’s vision to create a stable and sustainable economy in the region and trying to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs and business owners to give them the best chance to succeed,” added Al Dhaheri.

“We are establishing the network worldwide and will be bringing best projects and investment opportunities as well as investors from all parts of the world to our platform and hence to our members.  And we also have an Elite Services section wherein we understand projects, needs and goals of our Elite members and bring them solution and opportunities according to their needs,” further elaborated Dhaheri.

According to a research report published by PwC Middle East and titled, the potential impact of AI in the Middle East, AI is expected to contribute US$320 billion to the Middle East economy by 2030 – the equivalent to 11% of GDP. Further reports state that the greatest gains from AI are likely to be in UAE (contribution of up to 13.6% GDP in 2030) and KSA (12.4%).

Commenting on the impact of AI, Jason Michaud, Global Strategic Partner at QPQ, Partner at Canada-based Luiza Artificial Intelligence Technologies said: “These findings are evidence that AI is going to be a big game changer in the global economy. Keeping this in mind, we’ve incorporated AI technology into QPQ to accelerate the process of connecting our members to key projects, investors, and suppliers worldwide. QPQ is the only platform to incorporate this and we’re sure it will give our members unprecedented competitive advantage and earning capacity by bringing them the best opportunities worldwide,” added Michaud.

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Free Fire to Celebrate 5th Anniversary with Justin Bieber

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Free Fire’s 5th-anniversary celebrations are off to an exciting start as it launches a spectacular 5-part extravaganza to delight fans and players. The festivities are set to culminate on 27 August with several in-game content drops involving global icon Justin Bieber, who is headlining this special anniversary collaboration. The Free Fire community can revel and reminisce iconic anniversary celebrations over the years with the weekly rollout of 5 specially-designed chapters – Battle, Style, Map, Hero and Memory. Experience new in-game events, gain exclusive rewards, and enjoy Free Fire like never before. 

Free Fire will host its first ever in-game performance on 27 August, with Justin Bieber set to debut an exclusive track “Beautiful Love (Free Fire)” as part of the 5th-anniversary celebrations. Players can look forward to immersing themselves in an interactive set-up, groove along to custom emotes, participate in minigames and potentially even perform with Justin Bieber’s avatar on stage. A permanent in-game character modelled after Justin Bieber will also be unveiled and distributed to all players.

To commemorate this unique celebration, Free Fire will also give away the highly coveted Magic Cube to players, allowing them to easily redeem their favourite exclusive costume bundles and battle in style. Players will be able to try their hand at various daily and time-limited missions, accumulating tokens which can be swapped for exclusive rewards in the exchange store. With iconic costumes and classic guns available to unlock during these missions, players can expect a nostalgic and exciting experience every day.

Expansive, dynamic maps are iconic features of Free Fire and players can look forward to the release of a new map Nexterra, which has been enhanced with various elements to elevate and diversify the battle experience for players. There will also be new game modes for players to explore, including:

  • A new limited-time mode Free For All. Set against the backdrop of El Pastelo, it will simulate intense close combat point-based matches where up to 16 players will battle it out. Players will be able to select their own weapons and can obtain points by eliminating other players. Matches will be decided by the first player to accumulate a predetermined amount of points.
  • An exclusive 5th-anniversary mode Droid Apocalypse, which will see 12 players compete in each match, vying to become the ultimate droid. Players will get to select their own type of droid and convert as many humans as possible before the timer runs out. When only a predetermined number of humans remain, they will transform into hunters and have enhanced stats, as well as the ability to permanently eliminate droids. Points can be gained based on performance and the player with the most points after three rounds will win the match.
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New Malicious Campaign Hunts Discord Messenger Users

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On July 26, using the internal automated system for monitoring open-source repositories, Kaspersky researchers identified a malicious campaign dubbed LofyLife. The campaign employed 4 malicious packages spreading Volt Stealer and Lofy Stealer malware in the open-source npm repository to gather various information from victims, including Discord tokens and credit card information, and to spy on them over time.

The npm repository is a public collection of open-source code packages widely used in front-end web apps, mobile apps, robots and routers, and also to serve countless needs of the JavaScript community. Its popularity makes the LofyLife campaign even more dangerous, as it could potentially have affected numerous users of the repository.

The identified malicious repositories appeared to be packages used for ordinary tasks such as formatting headlines or certain gaming functions, however, they contained highly obfuscated malicious JavaScript and Python code. This made them harder to analyze when being uploaded to the repository. The malicious payload consisted of malware written in Python dubbed Volt Stealer, and a JavaScript malware dubbed Lofy Stealer, which possesses numerous features.

Volt Stealer was used to stealing Discord tokens from the infected machines along with the victim’s IP address and upload them via HTTP. The Lofy Stealer, a new development from the attackers, is able to infect Discord client files and monitor the victim’s actions – detecting when a user logs in, changes email or password details, enables or disables multi-factor authentication and adds new payment methods, including full credit card details. Collected information is also uploaded to the remote endpoint.

“Developers rely heavily on open-source code repositories – they use them to make IT-solution developments faster and more efficient and significantly contribute to the development of the IT industry as a whole. As the LofyLife campaign shows, however, even reputable repositories cannot be trusted by default – all code, including open-source code, that a developer injects into his products becomes their own responsibility. We’ve added detections of this malware to our products, so users who run our solutions will be able to identify whether they have been infected and remove the malware,” comments Leonid Bezvershenko, a security researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team.

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Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Removed From Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India

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India blocked a popular battle-royale format game from Krafton Inc, a South Korean company backed by China’s Tencent, using a law it has invoked since 2020 to ban Chinese apps on national security concerns, a source said. Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was removed from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store as of Thursday evening in India.

The removal of BGMI, which had more than 100 million users in India, comes after India’s 2020 ban of another Krafton title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). The PUBG crackdown was part of New Delhi’s ban of more than 100 mobile apps of Chinese origins, following a months-long border standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals.

The ban has expanded since to cover more than 300 apps, including popular gaming app ‘Free Fire’, owned by Singapore’s technology group Sea Ltd. Tencent held a 13.5% stake in Krafton as of end-March through an investment vehicle, according to Krafton’s regulatory filing.

Krafton shares slumped more than 9% on the news on Friday, later paring losses to trade down 4.5% as of afternoon trade in Seoul. The company said in May India accounted for a high single-digit percentage of its revenue in the first quarter of this year.

According to news reports, a Google spokesperson said it blocked the game following a government directive. In Seoul, a Krafton spokesperson said the developer was talking to relevant authorities and companies to figure out the exact situation regarding the suspension in the two major app stores in India.

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