Top ‘good guy’ hackers to tackle biggest cyber challenges yet Read more: Top ‘good guy’ hackers to tackle biggest cyber challenges yet

According to Symantec, its upcoming Cyber Readiness Challenge will be the ultimate in cyber-defense readiness practice

Hackers – even the “good guy” breed – tend to be a shadowy bunch, keeping their identities as secret as they can. But on January 28, the identities of some of the best hackers in Israel will be unveiled, as they try to win an all-expense paid trip to the U.S., to see how security giant Symantec does cyber-defense.

The hackers, 50 of them, will be participating in the biggest-ever simulated “hack attack,” in the Israeli version of the Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge – a worldwide and ongoing event in which “white hat hackers” (those who use their hacking powers to help, not hinder) will attempt to get to the bottom of a simulated “industrial espionage” attack against a large corporation.

By putting participants in the hacker’s shoes, said Symantec, it enables them to understand their targets, technology and thought processes so they can ultimately better protect their organization and themselves. Symantec, which makes anti-virus and security software, works in countries around the world, where it holds similar challenges, seeking out the best white-hat hackers, sometimes hiring them as well, the company said.

A hacker contest is like any other one, in that it has goals, rules, milestones, and points awarded. In the contest, hackers must conduct a cyber-investigation of an attack against a company’s site, figuring out who hacked them and how they did it, by counter-hacking shady Internet sites and servers. Points will be given for degree of success in hacking into the suspects’ servers, and for achieving 40 milestones (such as getting access to passwords, installing spyware, etc.). The winner of the contest will get an opportunity to talk to and work with top Symantec security personnel at the company’s headquarters in the U.S., all expenses paid.

The Challenge will take place at the annual ​Cybertech International Conference, sponsored by IsraelDefense, the Prime Minister’s National Cyber Bureau, and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Economy. Speakers will include top figures and cyber-security professionals from Israel and the world, including Rick Kaplan, head of IBM Israel, Erek Kreiner of Israeli security company FiveC (he is also a former head of Israel’s National Information Security Authority), Dr. Orna Berry, head of EMC Israel, and David Chinn, cyber-security director of international consulting group McKinsey and Co., among others.

Sessions will include discussions on securing financial data, how to keep hackers from physically planting cyber-spy devices on equipment, disaster recovery, and privacy issues in the digital era – all issues that have been in the news recently, with the revelations on hackers stealing credit card information from large retail stores in the U.S., and the revelations on the gathering of information by the National Security Agency in the U.S.

Dozens of cyber-security start-ups will also be showing off their wares at the event, among them Seculert, which has been working on the recent hack attacks against Target and other retailers in the U.S., in which tens of thousands of customers had their credit card information stolen, and Covertix, which created a document technology that prevents unauthorized individuals from opening and reading files, alerting managers when a document’s security is compromised, automatically blocking usage if unauthorized use is suspected. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will open the event, speaking to participants about Israel’s cyber-defense policies and challenges.

But the highlight of the event promises to be the Symantec event, said Gili Netzer, VP of marketing at Symantec Israel. That’s because instead of talking about cyber-defense, the hackers will be practicing it. “The challenge is going to be very difficult, presenting participants with problems they have not come across yet,” said Netzer. “We intend to push them to their limit. In a world where hackers attack organizations, companies and whole countries at will, we need to be one step ahead of them, prepared to deal with attacks using the most advanced hacker techniques.”

Source : The Times Of Israel

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Anonymous hackers launch massive cyber assault on Israel Cyberspace, #OpIsrael

Anonymous perpetrated a widespread attack on Israel for the second time and have threatened to wipe Israel from the cyberspace. The attacks are supposedly retaliation for the inhumane treatment of Palestinians at the hand of Israeli government. In fact a lot of the websites operated by the Israeli government were not accessible on Sunday.

Anonymous hackers launch massive cyber assault on Israel Cyberspace

Anonymous hackers launch massive cyber assault on Israel Cyberspace

The group had warned of the attack in a video pasted on YouTube and gave a message to the Israel government that “You have NOT stopped your endless human right violations. You have NOT stopped illegal settlements. You have NOT respected the ceasefire. You have shown that you do NOT respect international law.”

Moreover, the collective warned that on the 7th of April, “elite cyber-squadrons from around the world have decided to unite in solidarity with the Palestinian people against Israel as one entity to disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace.” A group affiliated with the Anonymous calling themselves the N4m3le55 cr3w had stated on stated on Saturday that they have made all the preparations for a massive attack and that they “have gathered 600 websites and 100 plus servers we will be attacking” throughout Israel. The list includes banks, schools, businesses and a host of prominent government websites. “That is just our targets,”  and added that “We cannot speak on what the rest of Anonymous will be attacking but we can guarantee it will be in the 1000′s.”

The attacks fall on the eve of Holocaust Memorial day in Israel and Anonymous has accused the Israeli state of human rights violations, and ill treatment of its own people and neighboring countries.

Apparently the group claimed on Saturday to have brought down the sites of the Prime Minister’s office, the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel Securities Authority, and other sites such as the Education ministry and the defense ministry seem to have been affected as well though the government is ardently denying these claims.

The expert opinion on these attacks seems to be divided as some of them are taking these attacks as a serious threat and have advised preventive steps. But there are others who believe that the worst that the hackers can do is to carry out DDoS attacks, which are not really a big threat as such.

However, more than 700 websites have been affected and defaced in the cyber attacks.

Yitzhak ben Yisrael, of the National Cyber Bureau is of the opinion that the hackers have failed in their attempt to bring down major sites. He said that “So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage,”. He also added that “Anonymous doesn’t have the skills to damage the country’s vital infrastructure. And if that was its intention, then it wouldn’t have announced the attack ahead of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart,”

Well, this is the second instance that Israel has been attacked by the Anonymous and even if the government is downplaying the damage done by the attack, it is commendable on part of Anonymous to have brought down a country which is well known for launching cyber attacks on other countries.