The impact of digital technology on the way we shop has been profound — just consider the fact that we can now order about anything we want online with a few simple clicks and have it shipped from the other side of the world in a few days (if you’re willing to pay for express shipping, of course). Now, shoppers at Carrefour City+ in Mall of the Emirates can simply grab anything they want and leave without going through the traditional checkout process, which, as you probably are personally familiar, can be a painfully slow experience.
“Carrefour City+ has been designed to make life easier by using technology to remove friction and enhance the retail experience,” revealed Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Retail. “The store represents a huge leap forwards for retail in the UAE and region as Carrefour continues to innovate to meet the needs of the present whilst anticipating future shopping trends”.
The retail and leisure operator Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has enabled the first contactless checkout experience in Dubai using artificial intelligence and the current MAF Carrefour App. Here’s how it works in practice:
- A customer enters the store using the MAF Carrefour App.
- The customer can then simply pick any items from the shelves.
- Artificial intelligence identifies each picked item.
- All items are automatically added to a digital shopping basket.
- When the customer walks out of the store, payment is automatically made for the content of the digital shopping basket.
Carrefour City+ stocks over 1,300 items, including basic food items, ready-to-go meals, and personal hygiene products. Besides the shopping experience, the contactless checkout system also improves the store’s inventory management, ensuring pinpoint accuracy at all times. Does this sound like a shopping experience you’d be interested in?
New Variants Of Android Spyware Are Targeting Middle East Users
Sophos recommends Android users to never install apps from untrusted sources and avoid ignoring available OS and app updates.
British security software and hardware company Sophos has recently revealed that new variants of Android spyware used by the C-23 group are actively targeting users in the Middle East.
C-23, also known as GnatSpy, FrozenCell, or VAMP, is what cybersecurity professionals refer to as an advanced persistent threat (APT) adversary. Such adversaries are typically well-funded and well-organized, which allows them to quickly evolve their tactics to overcome even the most sophisticated cybersecurity defenses.
The C-23 adversary has been known for targeting individuals in the Middle East since at least 2017, with a particular focus on the Palestinian territories.
The latest variants of its Android spyware are most likely distributed via a download link sent to victims as text messages. The link leads to a malicious app that pretends to install legitimate updates on the victim’s mobile device. When the app is launched for the first time, it requests a number of permissions that let it spy on the victim. It then disguises itself to make removal more difficult.
“The new variants use more, and more varied, disguises than previous versions, hiding behind popular app icons such as Chrome, Google, Google Play, YouTube, or the BOTIM voice-over-IP service” explain Sophos. “If targets click a fraudulent icon, the spyware launches the legitimate version of the app, while maintaining surveillance in the background”.
The information the new spyware can steal includes everything from text messages to the names of installed apps to contacts from all kinds of apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp. The spyware can even dismiss notifications and toggle “Do Not Disturb” settings.
Sophos recommends Android users to never install apps from untrusted sources and avoid ignoring available OS and app updates. The company’s own mobile antivirus app, called Sophos Intercept X for Mobile, can detect the new spyware as well as all kinds of other malicious software.