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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘computer security’

Knesset Committee Praises Israel’s Cyber Protection, But Raises Concerns

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC) published a report on Monday praising measures put forth by the government in the field of cyber-security, a field in which Israel is considered to be a global leader. The committee suggested guidelines for the administration of the new authority responsible for Israel’s cyber-attack preparedness, but also expressed concerns that the new body, the National Cyber Authority, would not fit in well with the existing security agencies.

The committee’s concern was echoed by politicians. “The National Cyber Aythority and the security agencies are bodies with different interests and methods,” said MK Anat Berko of the Likud party. “This is why I am concerned about the need to divide responsibilities between them.”

“Since the National Cyber Authority is not a security agency, and includes civilian bodies as well, I am afaraid of the possibility of sensitive information leaking outside,” added Berko.

A subcommittee of the FADC focusing on cyber security has held a series of discussions over the past year with the goal of studying and overseeing improvement of defenses against cyber attacks and of examining the implications of the government’s decision to establish the National Cyber Authority as well as its implementation.

The new report summarizes the research conducted by the subcommittee and presents its conclusions on the optimal way to divide responsibility between the different bodies involved in cyber protection and on necessary further measures.

The report states that the cyber threat is a growing challenge to the State of Israel, but says that the government has recognized the threat in time and has started taking steps to prepare an adequate response.

The new authority will consider both security and political-diplomatic implications and will properly organize the gathering of information on cyber attacks against Israeli targets.

The authority will not gather intelligence independently, but will rely on the work of existing intelligence agencies. The Israeli security agencies will continue to be responsible for their own cyber protection and they will be the ones to actually collectthe information.

Finally, the subcommittee addressed the new cyber law being formulated and recommended that the law be written in cooperation with all relevant security and civilian bodies to ensure that it does not cause security risks and that it fits well into the Israeli cyber-security system.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

L’Express: Israel Spied on French Prime Minister’s Cellphone

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

When French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was visiting Israel from May 21 to 24 this year, he meant to carry a message of reconciliation to revive the peace process with the Palestinian Authority. But, according to a report in L’Express, the “friend of Israel” as Valls likes to present himself, did not expect the special reception he received: he and his entourage were asked to leave their secure phones before being ushered into high profile meetings, and when they took them back, the delegation was shocked to find that many of the phones showed signs of an “anomaly.”

Back in Paris, the devices that were suspected of having been handled by Israel were handed over to L’Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information (The National Agency for computer security, ANSSI) for further investigation, which is still ongoing.

“We never comment on the results of a potential attack,” an ANSSI spokesperson told L’Express. The spokesperson acknowledged that a laptop belonging to the prime minister’s entourage broke down during the visit to Israel, adding that “the current investigation is part of normal procedure,” and that allies don’t spy on one another.

L’Express expects that this suspicion of electronic monitoring may have an adverse effect on the already complicated relations between France and Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has issued a statement saying that “Israel denies this information. Israel considers France a friendly country, to which we transmit information if necessary, and against which we do not spy.”

David Israel

21.5 Million Americans Affected in Mega Hack By Cyber Attackers

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Cyber thieves managed to steal “sensitive information” belonging to 21.5 million U.S. citizens who applied for federal jobs, beginning in May 2014, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

The breach was not discovered until May 2015, OPM revealed in testimony before the Congress. Previous reports on the breach estimated that up to 18 million people were affected by the hack.

Among those were nearly 20 million who had allowed investigators to do deep background checks, and nearly two million more who were their life partners.

FBI Director James Comey confirmed on the Wednesday that his own data had been compromised as well.

Some of the files included “residency and educational history; employment history; information about immediate family and other personal and business acquaintances; health, criminal and financial history; and other details,” OPM said in a statement Thursday.

The massive cyber heist is separate from one that was reported earlier this year, in which hackers stole the personal data of 4.2 million past and present federal employees.

In addition to social security numbers and other personal information, copies of approximately 1.1 million records of fingerprints were stolen, according to the statement issued by OPM. Some of the records also included “findings from interviews conducted by background investigators” as well as the user names and passwords that applicants used to fill out investigation forms. The agency also noted that some mental health and financial information was included in the security clearance files affected by the breach.

Sources said there is evidence linking the breaches to China, although there have been no official statements on the connection.

In response to the attacks, agency direcctor Katherine Archuleta wrote in a blog post Thursday that she would create a position for a cyber security adviser at OPM, who would be tasked with establishing an online cyber security incident resource center and consulting with private sector experts on technology threats.

The agency is offering identity theft monitoring and protection services, and credit to those whose records were compromised in the breach.

Hana Levi Julian

Hackers Stole Personal Data of All US Federal Workers, Past & Present

Friday, June 12th, 2015

That cyber attack on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, revealed to the American public just a few days ago, turns out to be a mammoth violation; worse than the White House is willing to admit.

The personal information of every single federal worker, retired, current, past and present has been stolen in one of the biggest heists by hackers the U.S. has ever faced — affecting far more than the initial report of “at least four million government employees,” according to a report in the Friday edition of the New York Post.

It is believed the attack was traced back to China, according to myriad American media reports. The Obama administration has to yet to formally accuse China of the cyber security attack, however.

China has been involved in numerous industrial cyber attacks on corporations in the United States. Hackers traced to Russia have also carried out a number of cyber attacks in the U.S.

In Israel, cyber warfare has long been considered a major threat — one the Jewish State geared up to deal with by creating an entire government division devoted solely to cyber defense and cyber warfare.

The U.S. OPM breach apparently occurred in December; but it was not until April that it was discovered, and the news did not reach the public until this month.

Among the personal details stolen by the cyber thieves were the social security numbers, dates of birth and addresses, according to J. David Cox, head of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Military records, employment histories, gender, race and insurance information was also taken from the records penetrated in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

In a letter that Cox wrote to OPM director Katherine Archuleta, he charged the agency with not encrypting highly sensitive personal data of those who work for the government.

“We believe that Social Security numbers were not encrypted, a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous,” Cox said.

Personnel data files contain up to 780 pieces of information about each federal employee, according to the NY Post.

OPM has signed a $20 million deal with a private cyber security firm to provide 18 months of identity fraud protection for those who are affected.

Hana Levi Julian

Cyber Attack Strikes More US Govt Offices , 4 Million Affected

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Do you or any of your family work for the federal government? If so, prepare to change all of your computer passwords and consider doing the same at your bank.

At least four million current and former civil service workers have had their privacy violated by hackers who breached computer systems at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Department of the Interior.

According to a report in The Washington Post, the attack was carried out by Chinese hackers, as have previous U.S. industrial breaches.

OPM notified those whose “personally identifiable information” may have been compromised, offering 18 months of credit monitoring for those who were affected.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta told journalists at a news conference the government is working on trying to improve its cyber security. “We take very seriously our responsibility to secure the information stored in our systems,” she said.

The breach was first detected in late April and confirmed in early May. It is unclear when the attack began.

It is the Department of Homeland Security that is tasked with cyber defense. DHS officials said they were working with the FBI to get to the bottom of who was behind the current attack.

“DHS is continuing to monitor federal networks for any suspicious activity and is working aggressively with the affected agencies to conduct investigative analyses to assess the extent of this alleged intrusion,” DHS spokesperson Sy Lee said.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said “The cyber threat from hackers, criminals, terrorists and state actors is one of the greatest challenges we face on a daily basis, and it’s clear that a substantial improvement in our cyber databases and defenses is perilously overdue.”

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Hacker Posts on Zuckerberg’s Facebook Wall

Monday, August 19th, 2013

A Palestinian Authority hacker from Hevron posted a message on Facebook founder Marc Zuckerberg’s wall to show there is a bug in the social network’s security settings.

Khalil Shreateh posted information about the bug on Zuckerberg’s wall late last week following unsuccessful attempts to report the bug to Facebook security. The bug allowed Shreateh to post on the walls of other members despite security settings.

“Sorry for breaking your privacy … I had no other choice … after all the reports I sent to Facebook team,” Shreateh wrote on Zuckerberg’s wall.

Facebook security had denied that the flaw was a bug.

Shreateh, who is unemployed, had hoped to win a $500 reward paid out to hackers who discover bugs on Facebook. Instead, his Facebook account was frozen, since he violated Facebook’s terms of service by posting illegally on Zuckerberg’s page. His account has since been reinstated.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/141257/2013/08/19/

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