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After Prime Minister of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu, inaugurated the Beer Sheva’s cyber security park in September, Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Yaalon, announced two weeks ago at the Israel Defense Conference the city of Beer Sheva in the next few years will become the cyber capital of Israel. In fact, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intends to mobilize its C4I branch to the Negev. The IDF Maj.-Gen. Uzi Moskovitch, who is the head of the C4I, addressed the significance of the cyber security park constructed in Beer Sheva and claified: “We are talking about transferring 5,000 people from the C4I Branch. They need to be offered a good package so they won’t just commute. It’s not a move of presentations and slides; it’s a move of human capital. There are no precedents for technological organizations of this size moving from place X to place Y; it’s an extremely significant stimulus.”
Additionally, Ben-Gurion University publicized international companies already established in Beer Sheva, including Oracle, Deutsche Telekom, EMC², RSA, and ECI Telecom. New incubators such as Elbit Incubit and Jerusalem Venture Partner’s CyberLabs, as well as BGN Technologies, BGU’s technology transfer company, have also located themselves in Beer Sheva. The Cyber Park will maximize the resources of the university, the IDF, and its high-tech tenants. To give incentive to cyber innovation centres situating themselves in Beer Sheva, a $11 million in government support has been allocated for this purpose over the next three years. Cyber security is a major focus, and strength at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The university’s emphasis on applied research in information systems is unparalleled in Israel.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is increasing its cyber power by adding more than 1,200 new positions in the USAF cyber command. They will reach this number in the next few years. The goal is to improve the US’s defense against cyber-attacks. Air Force officials stated the additional personnel would also help the department deal with the massive amounts of collected data. By strengthening the Air Force’s cyber capabilities, the US Military Forces will be able to better support the wider intelligence community. To improve cyber defense, the USAF is currently trying to identify vulnerabilities within their systems. This identification includes safeguarding government information while building new systems for the future.
US cyber-security trade delegation to Kuwait undeterred by surveillance leaks
A US official dealing with international trade said he was confident efforts to help the US cyber security firms market and their technology in Kuwait would not be undermined by recent internet surveillance revelations. The American Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sanchez, was leading a delegation of twelve American cyber security companies and critical infrastructure protection trade missions for the second time in two years to Kuwait, with an earlier stop in Saudi Arabia.S firms included in this cluster describe themselves as providing “state-of-the-art technology or services in cyber security,” and some firms consist other types of security services “not cyber-related.” Big names include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, DataLocker and FireEye. Some 40% of companies in Kuwait admitted they had experienced a security incident in the last year.
Cyber-security researchers stated they discovered a small group of hackers most likely from China that has been launching precise “hit and run” operations against targets ranging from the Japanese parliament to a Korean electronics maker. The security laboratory of Kaspersky says the small cyber unit’s behaviour is different from other hacking groups. They processes victims one-by-one and manually steal specific files they already know about in advance, before covering their tracks and departing. Researchers say, this technique differs with other cyber-espionage groups, which often steal terabytes of indiscriminate data over months or years in a more automated fashion and don’t always bother to wipe away their fingerprints.
Kaspersky’s experts think the group is related to China and consist of six to twelve hackers who may be working as “digital mercenaries,” thus would be working for specific clients. The group’s malicious software, which researchers nicknamed Icefog doesn’t seem as professional compared to the state espionage brigade, Vitaly Kamluk, Kaspersky’s principal security researcher, said. However, it’s not as simple as criminal gang hijacking bank accounts either. They are interested in company plans, address books, account passwords and other materials that aren’t easily monetized
Mojtaba Ahmadi, who was the commander of the Cyber War Headquarters in Iran, was found dead in a wooded area near the town of Karaj, Mojtaba was in charge of the Iranian national cyber security, planning and implementing cyber policies for the Iranian critical infrastructures. Iran has been accused of mounting cyber-attacks against Western targets in recent years, and has itself been the target of suspected U.S. attacks on computer systems at its nuclear facilities using a virus called Stuxnet.
Since 2007, five Iranian nuclear scientists officially held responsible for the ballistic missile program in the country were killed. The regime has always accused the Israeli Mossad, of being behind these killings. According to a British newspaper, the death of the cyber defense specialist could be an extension of this series o killings. As noted by Google CEO Eric Schmidt few years ago, “Iran is particularly talented in cyber defense for reasons we do not fully understand.” In fact it is well known Iran is one of the most advanced countries in the world regarding cyber security. Currently, no evidence has been amassed solving Mojtaba’s murder.
Syrian Electronic Army attacks may be related to Obama’s mentions of Syria
Web intelligence researchers at Recorded Future, a company that annualizes public data to assess and predict cyber-attacks, found what they call a “remarkable correlation” between the Syrian Electronic Army cyber-attacks and the number of President Obama’s public statements about Syria and its civil war. Apparently, the more the US president discusses Syria, the more Syrian hackers target American media. When president Obama discussed potential military action in Syria against an alleged chemical attack the Syrian Electronic Army started a cyber-campaign against American media, hitting the New York Times, Twitter and others. When the US and Russia agreed on a diplomatic solution for the Syrian crisis, the hacker group remained relatively quiet. This phenomenon shows SEA is focused on international political actions and its critically aware about its cyber power.
China and APAC
Japan’s lack of cyber defense involved cooperation with the United States. On Thursday a meeting took place between Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel with their Japanese counterparts, the Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and the Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. The Japanese and U.S. governments are planning on including a policy on how best to respond to cyber-attacks in Japan and U.S. According to the Japanese government, a defense cooperation guidelines will be implemented to counter possible attacks from China. Under the new policy, the Self-Defenses Force and the American Military Force would jointly respond if Japan’s defense’s computer system came under a cyber-attack.
The Defense Ministry’s director of cyber-defense planning, Kazunori Kimura declared that attacks are getting more and more sophisticated, and sometimes we cannot d “fend against them using the systems we currently have in place we also don’t have enough people, equipment or money to do the job.” The US- Japanese cooperation is based upon the fact that they are both seeking an agreement on “enhanced information security.” His agreement shows a real desire to strengthen the US and Japanese relationship.
China will be able to attack Taiwan by 2020: report
Taiwan’s latest national defense report highlights an increasing military threat from China, stating Beijing is intending on increasing its capabilities, which could enable them to mount a full cross-strait attack. According to the 12th National Defense Report released by the Ministry of National Defense at a press conference yesterday, China’s combat capabilities are expected to reach this level by 2020. The report said China has been developing and deploying various types of new high-end weapons, as well as advanced cyber-attack and defense technologies. China is becoming the first country in the world for cyber espionage activities.
The UK government is setting up a reserve cyber-army to protect national security. The British government is looking for hackers to join what they call the “Joint Cyber Reserve.” This new team of hackers, programmers, and cyber experts are supposed to be ready to launch strikes in cyber space if necessary. The British Defense Minister, Philip Hammond, announced cyber reserve units will work on cutting-edge techniques for the state’s cyber defense He declared: “In response to the growing cyber threat, we are developing a full-spectrum military cyber capability, including a strike capability, to enhance the UK’s range of military capabilities. Increasingly, our defense budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe.”
According to Hammond, the Cyber Reserve is essential towards defending national security in cyberspace, and is a great opportunity for security experts in industry to put their skills to good use. UK government is recruiting reservists to join the unit starting this month. The role of the unit is meant to protect computer networks and data. The MoD said recruitment process would target personnel leaving the armed forces, current and former reservists with the required skills and civilians with the appropriate technological skills and knowledge. The cost of setting up the new cyber army unit could be around £500 million over the next few years. The Joint Cyber Reserve will provide support to the Joint Cyber Unit and other information security units across the country. It will also provide support to UK’s intelligence GCHQ.
The European Company Cassidian cyber security is launching its new detection service called “Keelback” to counter cyber threats.
The company is launching new offer against cyber threats. The new service includes sensors and software, identification and characterization of threats in real time. Cassidian Cyber Security announced Keelback is dedicated to the detection and fight against cyber advanced persistent threat. Specially designed to steal sensitive information or intellectual property of their targets, advanced cyber-attacks represent a real danger for organizations.
They must be able to counter various levels of the corporate network. This is what Cassidian Cyber Security provides with Keelback. Indeed, Keelback aims to detect and defend information systems from three distinct bricks and complementary technology deployed on different part of the network: on the workstations with (KeelbackHost) on its network environment with (KeelbackNet), and distance to refine the “off-line” detection of traces of malice (KeelbackLog). All modules can be used on-site or remotely. All information collected is secure and stored in the knowledge base of Cassidian Cyber security.
This database is continuously updated, recognizing in real time the level of malicious hacking and provides information countermeasures to halt early development. Cassidian Cyber Security, an affiliate owned by the European company Cassidian, is dedicated solely to the market of cyber security in Europe and the Middle East’s businesses, operating from France, United Kingdom and Germany. Cassidian Cyber Security expertise focuses on three fields: Cyber Defense & Professional Services, Trusted Infrastructure and Secure cell phone.