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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘national security’

Report: With Lowered Restrictions on Cyber Exports Israel Targeting 20 Countries for Sales

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to ease licensing and technology transfer restrictions on dual-use, cyber-related products and services, and on Tuesday Mishel Ben Baruch, director of the defense ministry’s Export and International Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), told the HLS and Cyber conference in Tel Aviv that his organization is targeting more than 20 countries for enhanced cyber-related trade, DefenseNews reported.

“We identified specific opportunities and needs in more than 20 countries around the world with which SIBAT has close ties,” Ben Baruch said, noting that Israel’s defense ministry is about to coordinate “a special effort to advance the exceptional capabilities of Israel’s cyber defense industries.”

According to Ben Baruch, SIBAT’s survey of potential customers indicates needs which the Israeli defense industry can satisfy, such as developing “cyber vaccines” for weapons and command and control systems; advanced national Computer Emergency Response Team centers; protection of strategic facilities; cyber-related training and trainers; and advanced cyber-crime tools and services.

According to Israel’s National Cyber Directorate (NCD), cyber-related exports in 2015 amounted to about $4 billion, close to $800 million higher than the 2014 figures, and second in scope globally only to the US. NCD is expecting to get very close to, if not exceed the $5 billion mark in 2016.

Such figures, he said, include all cyber-related exports, from commercial off-the-shelf and dual-use capabilities through sensitive military-end use products, services and technologies.

Ben Baruch would not reveal who those 20 plus countries are, but, according to DefenseNews, a defense ministry official whispered to the crowd, “Definitely not Russia.”

JNi.Media

Coming: Tel Aviv 4th International Homeland Security and Cyber Exhibition

Monday, November 7th, 2016

On November 14-17, 2016, thousands of politicians, law enforcement decision-makers and security professionals from around the world will gather at the Tel Aviv Convention Center to attend “Israel HLS & Cyber 2016.” The conference will focus on today’s most imminent security challenges, such as the threats of both physical and cyber terror, securing airports and major transport hubs, and protecting critical infrastructure.

Complementing these important discussions, the Exhibition will run simultaneously and showcase 160 Israeli companies, offering some of the world’s most innovative and advanced technologies in the field.

Years of heightened terrorist threats have led many governments to expand their security measures. Now, more than ever, greater attention is given to protect strategic assets, such as transportation hubs, stadiums and sports facilities, and critical infrastructure.

Faced with a multitude of terrorist threats since its inception, Israel has encouraged and supported the development and implementations of state-of-the-art homeland security solutions. Today, Israel is home to more than 400 companies in this sector and is widely considered to be in the forefront of the global security industry.

In recent years, Israel has also become a leading cyber nation. In 2015, the Israeli cyber sector reached $4 billion in total sales, representing 5% of that year’s global sales in this sector. More than 300 cyber companies operate in Israel, and the number is growing every year.

JNi.Media

Report: 3 MKs, IDF General Were KGB Agents

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Three Knesset members, senior IDF officers (including one member of the IDF General Staff), engineers who worked on classified projects such as the Lavi supersonic warplane and the Merkava tank, as well as intelligence officers in sensitive positions, have been exposed as KGB agents by documents to be revealed by the daily Yediot Aharonot this Friday.

The secret documents have been copied over a period of 20 years by Vasili Mitrokhin, a former senior KGB agent, who hid his work in milk jugs under his vacation home in a suburb of Moscow. In the early 1990s, Mitrokin contacted the West and he, his family and his milk jugs were transported to the UK. The revelations in these documents were a harsh blow to the Soviet spy network, exposing an estimated one thousand KGB agents around the world. Those documents included revelations about KGB activity inside Israel, and Yediot has now received some of them from a secret archive at Cambridge.

One of those KGB spies in Israel’s highest echelons was MK Elazar Granot, a socialist leader who served on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and was privy to Israel’s military secrets. The KGB also employed a senior engineer in Israel’s national water project in the 1950s and 60s, and even a senior agent in the GSS counter intelligence dept.

According to Yediot, the KGB’s highest prize was the recruitment of an IDF general who was member of the General Staff. When he was exposed, in 1993, the high ranking was already terminally ill and the powers that be decided not to prosecute. They likely did not relish the exposure either. He died shortly afterwards.

David Israel

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

Analysis: Trump Giving Israel a Bad Name with ‘Profiling’ Comment

Monday, June 20th, 2016

“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, using Israel as an example for a place where this method is flourishing and yielding results. “You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully. And you know, I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense,” he said.

Sadly, as Israel is being drawn with increasing frequency into the US presidential elections, with the Democrats using the Israeli-Arab conflict as a battle field between the Sanders and Clinton proxies, bits of prejudice and misinformation about the life and politics of the Jewish State are coming to the fore and, more often than not, spreading more ignorance than knowledge about it.

Donald Trump’s cartoon depiction of Israel’s security forces’ strategies is a case in point. A few years ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected on a promise to do away with police racial profiling, because it perpetuated decades of abuse when African-Americans and Latinos would be routinely stopped and frisked by police. But predictive profiling, which takes into account multiple elements in an individual’s manner and appearance, is a crucial component of law enforcement work, and it’s much more complex than just skin color and religion.

Not according to the BBC, which informed its listeners on Sunday: “Profiling uses ethnicity, race and religion to determine whether a person has or is likely to commit crimes.”

And, sadly, this is probably what Trump meant when he shared with Face the Nation what he had taken from Israel’s security strategies. In a sense, Trump’s and the BBC’s notions of profiling come down to the store detective who spots a black person coming in and sticks to them expecting that they are more likely than others to shoplift.

If Israel’s security forces had used this yardstick in their approach to predictive profiling it would have choked not just its international airports, but traffic on the streets in many cities, too. If all you need to be in order to trigger security response is dark-skinned or Muslim, three-quarters of Israelis would spend their days and nights in police stations.

Chris Weller, who last year reported in Business Insider about his experience as a foreign, non-Jewish traveler at Ben Gurion airport, noted that “no flight leaving Ben Gurion has ever been hijacked, and the airline servicing Israel, El Al, hasn’t seen an attack in more than 30 years.” And yet, dozens of El Al and other flights leave Ben Gurion every day, and passenger traffic is brisk and efficient.

Israel employs, on the streets of its cities as well as in its airports, an intelligence driven system that relies on good communication, alert operatives, and multi-layered screening. Daniel Wagner, co-author of the book “Global Risk Agility and Decision Making,” cites Raphael Ron, a former director of security at Ben Gurion for 5 years, who said the passenger-oriented security system there is focused on the “human factor,” and is “based on the assumption that terrorist attacks are carried out by people who can be found and have been stopped through the use of this simple but effective security methodology.”

Unlike all US airports, departing passengers in Ben Gurion are not asked to take off their shoes during physical screening processes. Instead, passengers are interviewed by trained agents before they get to the check-in counter. So that the area in front of the check-in is not conceded to potential terrorists, as was the case recently in the Brussels airport attack. The interviews last one or two minutes for the most part, so that the line of passengers is moving quickly, and when the agents (they work in pairs) do suspect someone, based on factors such as vocabulary, general behavior, dress, age, race, religion and destination—they may be detained and questioned for as long as it takes.

But the scrutiny at Ben Gurion begins well ahead of the passenger’s arrival at the terminal itself. Every vehicle first passes through a security checkpoint where armed agents examine it, have a brief exchange with the driver, and assess their risk level. Meanwhile, the vehicle is gauged by a weight sensor, and an undercarriage scan. Then, outside and inside the terminal building agents are always mingling with the crowd pouring in, aided by hidden surveillance cameras that are monitored around the clock. Suspicious people would be challenged without waiting for them to reach a counter or a metal detector. An agent would approach them and strike a conversation to assess their mental state and risk level.

All of that well coordinated system relies on a broader intelligence infrastructure that uses informants, social network scrutiny and surveillance — traditional police methods which Israel’s security forces have been using and improving over the past decade and a half both in green line Israel and in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Chris Weller offered an excellent example for the way Israel combines computer technology with the human factor, to create a smooth, reliable, fast and effective communication system regarding predictive profiling. “I learned that before any passenger ever gives up his luggage to the fine folks at Ben Gurion International, an employee places a neon yellow sticker on the back of your passport. On it is a 10-digit number. The first number, ranging from one to six, indicates your perceived threat level to whomever else you’re passed along. I got a five.”

And so, with a simple bar-coded sticker, the first agent who meets the passenger communicates his impressions to the next agent down the line without having to exchange one word or even a gesture. Leftwing writer Lia Tarachansky complained a few years ago about the same system:

“So I enter the line … My Israeli-Palestinian roommate tells me he’ll wait while I answer the security lady’s questions. She sees I speak Hebrew, she asks if I packed my own bags and she gives me a ‘1’ as expected. I’m white and I’m an Israeli, therefore I’m probably a Zionist. High from excitement and privilege I ask if my friend can come with me to the check-in. She says of course and asks for his ID. Her face changes.

“Where it says the Jewish birth date the line in his ID is blank. i.e. not Jewish. i.e. Palestinian.

– you know this man?

– yes

– how?

– he’s my roommate

– where?

– Jaffa

– wait here.

“She looks at his last name. It’s Christian, i.e. Arab. She disappears with our passports. The roommate looks at me and we both know what’s going to happen. When she comes back her smile is gone. She tears the ‘1’ off my bags and angrily puts on a ‘3’ as though to say ‘you didn’t tell me you have an Arab friend!’ Her face says ‘don’t you see you’re [expletive] it all up for us?!’”

Tarachansky described in her vivid style just how unhappy she was with the Israeli security system, but the fact is that even in her anti-Israeli narrative one can see that no one was hurt in the encounter she described, no one was manhandled, no one even missed their flight. But the system quickly spotted and responded to the potential threat, and the response was to replace a passport sticker. This hostile depiction of the Israeli method is, in fact, a song of praise to a rational, sophisticated and effective security system.

One wonders whether Donald Trump, or the media, understand the full depth of this system when he describes Israel’s success in police work and security as “profiling.”

JNi.Media

Upgraded Counter Terrorism Bill Passes First Knesset Reading

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

An upgraded counter terrorism law passed its first reading Thursday in the Knesset plenum.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) sponsored the bill. She told journalists it was intended to provide authorities with the many tools needed to “lead an effective battle against terrorist organizations, both in fighting their expanding activities and the funding that enables such activity.

“We believe that passing the Terror Act, in its current version is a necessary and vital step to advance the fight against terror,” she said. “In this fight, there is no ‘Left’ and ‘Right,’” she emphasized.

The proposal for the bill was formulated originally during the term of former justice minister Tzipi Livni. It gathers all current legislation dealing with counter terrorism into one measure, and broadens the definition of what constitutes a terrorist organization.

Under the new law, administrative detentions will be legalized, and those who support terrorism will receive up to three years’ imprisonment. The definition of terror support will include posting praises of terrorism online, waving flags connected with terror activity, etc.

In addition, accomplices to such crimes will receive the same penalties as perpetrators.

The maximum prison term will be raised to 30 years for terror-related crimes as well.

The notes of explanation that accompany the legislation point out: “The legislation’s objective is to give state authorities the proper legal, criminal and public tools to deal with the terror threats the State of Israel is facing… This is due to the unique nature of this type of crime, which is reflected in the severity of the infringement, on the one hand, and the difficulty of fighting it because of its scope and complexity on the other hand.”

The measure passed by a vote of 45-14.

It now moves to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for amendments and changes prior to a second and third, final reading.

Hana Levi Julian

US Officials Warn of ISIS Attacks on July 4

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

American police forces from coast to coast are on alert from federal officials that the Islamic State (ISIS) is planning to terrorize the country during the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Homeland Security, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center sent an intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies.

No specific plots were spelled out, according to CNN, but there was a general warning because of the holiday and the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Friday, following multiple ISIS-linked attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia:

Particularly with the upcoming July 4th holiday here in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI continue to communicate with state and local law enforcement about what we know and see.

We are encouraging all law enforcement to be vigilant and prepared. We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people.

In Britain, the ISIS targeted the annual Armed Forces Day parade on Saturday, but intelligence officials foiled the plot, which was discovered by an undercover British agent who was recruited by the terrorist group.

The ISIS had told the investigator, according to the London Sun, “It will be big. We will hit the kuffar (unbelievers) hard InshAllah. Hit their soldiers in their own land. InshAllah. Soldiers that served in Iraq and Afghanistan will be present. Jump in the crowd and detonate the bomb.

“They think they can kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan then come back to the UK and be safe. We’ll hit them hard InshAllah.”

The multiple attacks on Friday indicate, whether coordinated or not, are clear signs that the Islamic State’s declared war on the world is more than rhetoric.

Dismissing the murderers as “lone wolves,” as some of Israel’s security officials and leftist media try to do in order to play down Palestinian Authority-incited terror, is not going to satisfy the nationwide American fear of the ISIS.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-officials-warn-of-isis-attacks-on-july-4/2015/06/27/

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