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May 15, 2014 1:18 pm

Britain, Israel Agree to Finance Joint Cyber Defense Research

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon visits the Israeli government department of telecommunications and cyber systems on June 4, 2013. Photo: Ariel Hermoni / Ministry of Defense.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon visits the Israeli government department of telecommunications and cyber systems on June 4, 2013. Photo: Ariel Hermoni / Ministry of Defense.

Britain’s Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance and Israel’s National Cyber Bureau on Thursday met in London to sign a pact to finance joint cyber defense research, the UK’s Jewish News reported.

“Britain is one of the most advanced countries in the world on cyber defense, and we place great importance on promoting and strengthening cooperation with our UK partners,” said Dr. Eviatar Matania, head of the Israeli agency. “We believe that mutual sharing of knowledge will strengthen both countries.”

Matania signed the pact with her British counterpart, James Quinault.

Last month, the Israeli Elite Force gained access to the computers of 16 members of the hacker group Anonymous, capturing them in screenshots from their own webcams. The Israeli team published the information in a Dropbox document via their Facebook page, saying, “Anonymous, next time do not mess with us.”

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The file included the names of the attackers, their countries of origin, and usernames and passwords to various websites they use. Most participants were based in Malaysia and Indonesia, while others were from Portugal, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.

In January, Israel’s Head of Military Intelligence, Major General Aviv Kohavi, described the growing cyber threat against Israel alongside the threat of missiles pointed at it by the country’s enemies.

Speaking at the seventh annual Security Challenges of the 21st Century conference at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Kohavi said, “There are 170,00 rockets and missiles directed at Israel. There are increased threats from the cyber realm along with great additional potential for intelligence in cyber capabilities.”

He said the cyber threat was both growing and not entirely understood, describing the environment to protect Israel as far more dynamic, complex, and challenging than ever before.

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