CHA International
Force Majeure
POSTPONING THE CEREMONY OF MENA TRAVEL AWARDS (OF MAY 1st 2019) TO Following Year
We stand behind our voting system and its Integrity

MENA Travel Awards


Recently, a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to the voting system database has been identified; detected as coming through several of 2019 enrolled hotels computer systems (Password and User ID).

Hackers Attackers are targeting our Event voting systems "this week" with increasing viciousness and stealth We have to redevelop and reconstruct (Along with our Auditing firm PRICWATERHOUSECOOPERS) our voting systems with a much powerful security infrastructure model

Thus, false votes were entered over the past few days - though voting is yet to start by end of January 2019.

Upon discovery, immediate actions have been taken to protect the integrity of the event voting system and entrants from attacks – hackers (abusing their Users ID and passwords)

Consequent to the current findings, a list of affected enrolled “user ID” & “Passwords” that were used to compromise the voting database are under investigation by PWC and our USA technical teams.

In the meantime our plans and action are:
  1. We are re-developing / re-constructing programs with much higher security measures for following years event enrollment and voting systems "Back Office" encodes and database along with PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS teams - fortunately previous years data are intact in our backups.
  2. We are now working with federal law enforcement to trace and prosecute the perpetrators responsible for this attack.
  3. We will be resetting passwords for all future accounts. In addition, sending new ones after the re-development for coming years.


An estimated time to re-develop / re-structuring / re-secure the voting and enrollment systems will not be concluded earlier than March 31st 2019. Such will hinder in 2019 our normal critical path of the event preparation / process sequence. Making it impossible for this year's event to be on time.

Consequently, we have to skip 2019 event and prepare for a much exciting and upgraded future event and ceremony.

We regret that such breach / hacking has happened causing result as such and we assure our entrants / industry colleagues that we do take the voting ethics / integrity and the security of data very seriously and whatsoever cost. Unfortunately, nowadays security attacks worldwide are becoming occurrences that are more regular. However we never give up and together "WE KEEP ON MOVING FORWARD"

Related Tips / Info:- http://www.sans.org/course/hacker-techniques-exploits-incident-handling

Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

PS: Your Enrollment / Entry data will be safely recorded for future year.