This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

global cyber


4703831_sCisco to invest in Israeli cyber-security

Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomes Cisco’s decision to establish an R&D lab in Israel and the cyber innovation that will come of it. These investments will do three things:

  • Invest in research laboratories and innovative development in the field of cyber-security in Israel.
  • Invest in the establishment of counseling services to help customers meet their security needs, as well as the strategic recruitment of hundreds of workers in Israel, based on existing capabilities.
  • Invest $15 million through venture capital funds to develop innovative security technologies.

Netanyahu drew a clear line between Iran’s intensions to perform cyber attacks against Israel, to Hamas and Hezbollah as its proxy messengers in this shadow war. More and more cyber attacks are taking place against Israel’s vital national systems, such as power and water systems, economic and other strategic government websites. The significance is important on a few levels. First, it officially defines the linkage in cyber space between a hostile state player and hostile non-state actors. Second, it proves that Israel sees this risk as a top priority. Hence it develops proper protection, intelligence and counter attack strategic programs. Third, it reminds everyone that Hezbollah is not solely “busy” in the Syrian civil war; it still wages a cyber war against Israel. Finally, it once again reminds the international community the risk in those kind of hostile relationship, and importance of creation a global cooperation against those cyber attacks.


The United states Army new 4G network

The US Department of Defense said that they will spend $23 billion in the next four years to improve its cyber defense. That will include the project of building a secure 4G wireless network for iPads, iPhones and Android devices by 2014. This new network will improve collaboration between separate branches of the military and their cyber security systems. According to General Martin Dempsey, Chief of the United States Army, this will strengthen 15,000 Defense Department networks in the cloud.

The Pentagon Is Updating Conflict Rules in Cyberspace

The NY Times published on June 27, 2013 that the Pentagon is updating its classified rules for warfare in cyberspace for the first time in seven years, an acknowledgment of the growing threat posed by computer-network attacks — and the need for the United States to improve its defenses and increase the nimbleness of its response,  according to  Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who have said the Chinese did not believe that hacking American systems violated any rules, since no rules existed.


NSA’s data access

Privacy advocates are sceptical of proposals to restructure a National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program so phone companies, rather than the spy agency, would retain consumers’ phone records. During a House Intelligence Committee hearing last week the NSA Director General Keith Alexander was asked  to look into restructuring the 215 surveillance program so phone companies would retain metadata on their consumers’ phone calls, rather than that data being stored by the spy agency. General Alexander said the government is researching the feasibility of Schiff’s proposal to restructure the surveillance program, but warned that an immediate concern that comes to mind is “speed in crisis” and whether this would prevent authorities from getting data about potential terrorists quickly. He said intelligence officials would report back to the House Intelligence panel with their findings on the efficacy of phone providers storing the metadata versus the NSA. FBI Director Robert Mueller raised similar concerns when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week during an oversight hearing, noting that authorities would have to approach several different carriers to get phone records on potential terrorists and doing so “would take an awfully long time.” “There is no records retention requirement on telephone companies at this point,” Mueller said.


Secret Russian Lab in The Fishenko Espionage Case Identified

Earlier this year, agents of the FBI and NCIS raided a Houston-based company (Arc Electronics) that sold millions of dollars worth of sensitive, export controlled microelectronics to the Russian government including an unidentified research laboratory which is part of Russia’s Federal Security Service (the FSB, which took over domestic intelligence operations from the KGB). 


17734050_sIran Suspected of aiding the revolutionaries in Bahrain

Authorities in Bahrain say they have identified and arrested leading members of the Shia opposition, the February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition, an influential cyber-group accused of working against the government and having links to Iran. The February 14 Coalition has been the main force behind a Shia-led uprising that began in 2011 to demand more rights from the country’s ruling Sunni leaders. Tehran, which has repeatedly criticised the kingdom’s crackdown on protesters, denies it is backing the uprising.


Iranian national infrastructure is subjected to cyber-attacks

A government agency in charge of fighting sabotage said today on its website,, that an attack hit the networks of the Oil Ministry and the National Iranian Oil Company on Friday. The website said experts were able to block the cyber attack and that the hackers were unable to get access to classified information due to its security system. Later, an Iranian oil ministry official denied the report and said that a technical problem, not a cyber attack, was the reason for a temporary shutdown of the network.

17695294_sThe Arab Countries

Supporters of the Bashar El Assad’s regime wage a counter war against revolutionary and rebel forces in cyber space

The Syrian Electronic army (SEA) is trying to hurt the revolutionary forces in Syria by blocking their attempt to publish information about the civil war in Syria. They are doing so through social networks, by sending a message, allegedly from a friend of the user, with a link inside and once the person presses the link, they can take over his account. In that way, they can spread counter-revolutionary propaganda.


Turkey under cyber-attack as a result of government crackdown on protestors

While the riots that are taking place in Turkey started as a result of the government intention to destroy GeziPark, the demonstration soon turned against the strict policy of the Justice and Development Party led by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The government’s use of political and physical force against the demonstrators generated a wide spread solidarity towards the demonstrators has been translated into cyber action. Among the hacker groups that took part in the attack was “Anonymous”. Their attacks included mainly DoS on government websites. However, no significant damage has yet to be found in the country’s computerized infrastructure.

Hezbollah cyber capabilities

Hezbollah, as one of the biggest and known terror groups in the Middle East, sees cyberspace presence with great importance, and considers it as an important weapon in the battle for hearts and minds. Hezbollah use the Internet for both internal information and indoctrination. During the past decade Hezbollah developed an extensive Internet presence, much larger than those of the other terrorist organizations. Since the Second Lebanon War (2006), and with greater intensity during the past year, Hezbollah has increased its Internet presence, improved its quality and upgraded it technologically. Currently Hezbollah has more than 20 websites in seven different languages, some of them news sites and some of them relating to specific issues. The sites are used by senior Hezbollah figures, the organization’s social institutions, its media and several important Shi’ite villages in south Lebanon where Hezbollah is entrenched.[GS1]

11106453_sChina and APAC

Chinese anger at U.S. hypocrisy over cyber-espionage

China has censured the United States for its double standards in the area of cyber security, amid revelations about the US cyber espionage against Chinese companies and institutions. 
Chinese spokesman Col. Yang Yujun said on Thursday that the Prism program – an electronic surveillance program run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) to mine Internet information – “has revealed the concerned country’s true face and hypocritical behavior,” apparently referring to the United States.

Chinese government cracks down on internet usage in Tibet

China announced the completion and stringent implementation of an internet and phone monitoring program in Tibet, which requires users to register under their real identities. According to the state controlled media, more than 4 million Internet, fixed telephone line, and mobile phone users have to register under their real names. For[d2]  years, all Tibetan activities, even the smallest and most insignificant ones have been watched over by Chinese authorities, which Beijing says the Dalai Lama is responsible for. In their defense, China says that the region has suffered from poverty and long periods of exploitation and economic stagnation until 1950 when the communist troops finally liberated it.


France cannot get information about Windows core

Former cryptanalyst of the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), Eric Filiol said in an interview during the Hack in Paris conference, which was held from 17 to 21 June that France had difficulties to obtain technical information about Windows operating systems core. According to Filiol, a powerful country with nuclear weapons and a member of the Security Council of the United Nations cannot force Microsoft to provide it information about a system that is in use everywhere. The risk is to discover backdoors created by Microsoft for the U.S. government, or simply for Microsoft itself, including for purposes of industrial espionage

UK government investing heavily in cyber-security

The British Government is launching a £4 million program to improve cyber-security awareness amongst small businesses and consumers. This comes at a time when British cyber-security and intelligence agencies have scored a massive coup in this year’s budget review. Whilst most other government bodies have seen huge cut-backs in a bid to reduce the financial deficit, the intelligence agencies received a 3.4% increase. The increase amounts to the sum of around £210 million, which is on top of the £650 million in funding which the National Cyber Security Program currently receives.

The Global Cyber review is produced by the INSS Cyber Warfare Program Team:

Dr. Gabi Siboni, Daniel Cohen, Hadas Klein, Aviv Rotbart, Gal Perel, Amir Steiner, Doron Avraham, Shlomi Yass, Keren Hatkevitz, Sami Kronenfeld, Matthew Barnes, Jeremy Makowski, Simon Tsipis

global cyber