18 May 11. Netanyahu unveils Israel’s anti-cyber terror taskforce
Cybernetic team to work to prevent cyber ‘terror attacks’ by foreign countries that could seriously harm Israel’s defense systems. Israel is establishing a national taskforce that will work to prevent cyber “terror attacks” by foreign countries on its strategic computer networks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday. The national cybernetic taskforce was set up in order to protect Israel from possible harm to its defense systems and infrastructure networks. A special team of eight experts, headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Isaac Ben-Israel, submitted a line of recommendations for the establishment of the taskforce, which were adopted by Netanyahu. “Israel is exposed to cyber attacks which can paralyze entire life systems on which the country runs,” Netanyahu warned. “Electricity, credit cards, water, transportation, traffic lights – every one of those is computerized and therefore susceptible to attack. There is an immediate need to form defenses in the face of such threats.”
“We are dealing with the security component,” the prime minister added. “I cannot go into detail about individual attacks, but not because there weren’t any. I promise that we will battle any future attacks – I have no doubt about it.” (Source: Haaretz.com/Len Zuga)
19 May 11. The Norwegian military said May 19 that it had been the victim of a serious cyber attack at the end of March, a day after Norwegian F-16 fighter jets for the first time carried out bombings in Libya.
“The army is regularly the target of cyber and virus attacks, but not as extensive as this,” Hilde Lindboe, a spokeswoman for Norwegian Defence
Information Infrastructure (INI), told AFP. On March 25, a day after Norwegian F-16s first took part in the NATO-led bombing in Libya, around 100 military employees, some of them high-ranking, received an email in Norwegian with an attachment that, once opened, let loose a virus made to extract information from the host computer. “From what we have seen, no sensitive information has been obtained,” Lindboe said. According to INI, only one computer containing non-classified information was contaminated. The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has opened an investigation to determine who launched the attack, but authorities say it is too soon to say whether there was a link to the Libya bombings.
Norway has six F-16s stationed on the Greek island of Crete as part of the NATO campaign against leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, authorized by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan population.
The Scandinavian country has however said it plans to curb its military role in Libya if the campaign lasts longer than June 24. (Source: Defense News)
18 May 11. Hackers are increasingly aiming attacks at smartphones, touching off a race among software giants, start-ups and telecom operators seeking to cash in on ways to help consumers protect themselves. As the previously fragmented smartphone market coalesces around big operating systems like Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, it has become a more attractive target for hackers seeking to maximize damage with one hit. That’s creating a big business opportunity for everyone from traditional antivirus players like Intel’s McAfee to mobile operators like France Telecom and handset makers like Nokia. Market research firm Infonetics forecasts sales of mobile security software will grow 50 percent a year through 2014 to hit $2bn.
“The mobile security market will one day be bigger than that of computers,” Neil Rimer, co-founder of Geneva-based fund Index Ventures, said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit. “It’s a no-brainer that people will pay to protect their devices, and the market will not be owned by one big player.”
Rimer’s fund has invested in three-year-old start-up Lookout Mobile Security, which has racked up more than 2 million users by selling its software on Google’s Android Market