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The Daily TIP: Israel Cybersecurity Expert Thwarts Global Hacking Attack

Posted by Tip Staff - June 29, 2017

Israel Cybersecurity Expert Thwarts Global Hacking Attack
BBC Blasted for Claiming the Holocaust is "Sensitive" for Muslims Because of Israel
Iran Targeted Star of David with Ballistic Missile
Hong Kong Companies Establish $200 Million Fund to Create Startup with Technion Technology

Israel Cybersecurity Expert Thwarts Global Hacking Attack

An Israeli cybersecurity researcher discovered a way to thwart the ransomware attack that has plagued computers across the world this week, CNN reported Wednesday.

Amit Serper, a security researcher at Cybereason, found a way to reverse-engineer the NotPetya ransomware, which affected Windows-based computers in Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and much of Europe on Tuesday. The virus locks up a victim's computer until they make a payment to the hackers.

While Serper is more familiar with Linux and Apple operating systems, he spent three hours parsing through the code during a visit to relatives in Israel. He discovered that NotPetya will not run on a computer it had previously taken over. In order to determine whether it already ran on a certain machine, the virus stores a file at a specific location and uses it as a marker.

By creating the file that NotPetya looks for before taking over a computer, Serper found a way to trick the virus into terminating itself before it could lock up any files on the targeted computer.

On Wednesday night, a wave of cyberattacks struck Israeli computer systems, notably in a number of hospitals, The Times of Israel reported.

The attacks were countered "immediately" and there was no reported damage, Israel's National Cyber Authority said.

The cyberattacks took place as Israel hosts a national Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv. Officials who spoke at the conference warned that hackers are gaining the upper hand.

BBC Blasted for Claiming the Holocaust is "Sensitive" for Muslims Because of Israel

The BBC has come under fire for publishing a news article on Wednesday stating that “The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British-mandate Palestine, on land which later became the State of Israel."

The British Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering anti-Semitism through education and law-enforcement, demanded on its website that the BBC "immediately and unequivocally apologise” for the line.

“The Holocaust is indeed a sensitive topic for many reasons, not least because six million Jews were systematically massacred. It should not be a sensitive topic to Muslims, or anybody else, because of the foundation of the State of Israel," CAA stated. “Zionism, the movement to create the modern State of Israel began decades before the Holocaust, and had the country existed at the time of the Holocaust, millions of innocent Jewish civilians may have lived."

CAA claimed that the line published by the BBC was anti-Semitic in nature: “For the BBC to lend credence to the notion that it is legitimate to be ‘sensitive’ about the Holocaust because of the existence of the State of Israel invokes antisemitic notions that the existence of the State of Israel is in some way racist, and it is offensive to tar ‘many Muslims’ in this way."

The line appeared in a BBC News article about German Muslim schoolgirls who went to visit concentration camps in Poland and suffered racist abuse from locals. The BBC has since removed the controversial statement.

Iran Targeted Star of David with Ballistic Missile

Following the commemoration of Quds Day last week, which commemorates Iran's threat to Israel's existence, Israel revealed that Iran used a Star of David, Israel's national symbol as a target for one of its ballistic missile tests last year, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

The revelation was made at the United Nations Security Council by Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon. Danon distributed grainy satellite photographs showing the target with a crater next to it.

“The missile launch is not only a direct violation of UNSCR 2231, but is also a clear evidence of Iran’s continued intention to harm the State of Israel,” Danon said.

In March of last year, Iran tested ballistic missiles that had the phrase, "Israel must be wiped off the earth," inscribed on them in Hebrew.

Under Security Council resolution 2231, which implemented the nuclear deal with Iran that was agreed to two years ago, "called upon" Iran not to test ballistic missiles.

A 2013 report on Iranian threats to destroy Israel published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs noted that "the 1948 Genocide Convention lists incitement to commit genocide as a war crime."

Danon's revelation comes in the wake of Quds, which was commemorated last Friday. Robert Wistrich, the late scholar of anti-Semitism, wrote that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, designated al-Quds Day, which he inaugurated in 1979, as one when the oppressed nations would “rise up and dispose of this source of corruption [Israel].”

Hong Kong Companies Establish $200 Million Fund to Create Startup with Technion Technology

Students, professors and alumni of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology now have a new way to finance their cutting-edge projects: a $200 million venture capital fund focused on creating companies out of the research conducted at the Haifa-based university.

The new fund is a joint venture between the Technion Research & Development Foundation (TRDF) and UG Capital Management (UGC), a fund management company based in Hong Kong.

The management team for the joint venture will be based in both Israel and Hong Kong. It includes Jonathan Mitchell, CY Lau and Thomas Lau of UGI, and Eddy Shalev, Dr. Eyal Kishon and Gary Gannot, the founders of the Genesis venture capital fund, who are joining the new Technion group.

“The Technion has been increasing its commercialization activities in recent years and we have already noted many successes in this field, including more than doubling the number of startup companies set up at the Technion through the new Technion DRIVE Accelerator,” said Prof. Wayne D. Kaplan, executive vice president for research and director general of TRDF.

UGI’s Jonathan Mitchell praised the new venture and team as a kind of “alchemy.”

“We’ve combined a number of components – the Israeli mind, institutional and private investors, and of course Technion and the local staff – and with all this we will contribute to the welfare of the world,” said Mitchell.

(via Israel21c)

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