Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

A Student in the College of Computers in Al-Leith Discovers a Security Gap in Google

News , Accomplishments ,
Added on - 2019/12/11  |  اخر تعديل - 2019/12/11

Through hard work, determination, and the available technical capabilities, the student Hammoud Al-Helmani in the Department of Computer Science, College of Computers in Al-Leith, managed to discover a security gap in the 'YouTube' service under Google, under the direct supervision of the Head of the Department of Information Technology, Dr. Marwan Al-Bahar, and with the follow-up and support of the Dean of the Colleges of Engineering and Computers, Dr. Iskandar bin Muhammad Hawsawi. The student noticed that access is possible to some special content for users without prior permission, which violates the users' privacy. After writing to Google management and providing an accurate report on his discovery, Google's security team contacted the student Hammoud Al-Helmani, acknowledging the genuineness and importance of his discovery, and promising a reward for his unique efforts. 

In a statement released by the Department of Public Relations and Information in the College of Computers in Al-Leith, Hammoud Al-Helmani, stated that the gap allows hackers to access some user-specific content without any prior permission. He explained that the problem lies in accessing these contents through a different framework, which allows bypassing authentication.

On his part, the Dean of the Colleges of Engineering and Computers in Al-Leith, Dr. Iskandar Hawsawi, stated that Hammoud Al-Helmani is one of the students who worked to improve their skills and educational level; incorporating academic study with personal knowledge and skills made him a distinguished student. He noted that the college is full of distinguished outputs, including students and academic staff; the credit is due to the unlimited support provided by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to education, which has made teaching aids beacons of knowledge and arenas in which innovators compete in the service of their country and society. Through the knowledge and skills they receive, they become staunch forces that build the country.

He appreciated the directives, support and keenness of His Excellency the UQU President, Prof. Abdullah bin Omar Bafail, for all the activities and programs of the Colleges of Engineering and Computers in Al-Leith, which had a great impact on improving the academic, research and student outputs and programs that serve the community.

The Dean of the Colleges of Engineering and Computer Science also pointed out that the student Al-Helman was personally mentored by Dr. Marwan Al-Bahar, an academic staff member at the college, who guided him towards finding the causes of the gap, and helped him with the process of official documentation with the company responsible for the security gap. He managed to find a solution, and submitted a detailed report on the causes of the gap and the seriousness of its misuse.

Google’s management adopts a reward policy for anyone who discovers an application vulnerability; anyone around the world can contact Google Security Team, who investigates the gap and rewards its finder.