Professor Dan Blumberg is the director of Homeland Security Institute, Vice President and Dean, Research and Development Ben Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev.
Recently, Jacob Segal, the director of Southern California Israel-American Chamber of Commerce (SCICC), as a volunteer, organized for Professor Blumberg to introduce his university’s activities to a curious Los Angeles audience.
Located in the suburbs of the fast growing southern city of Be’er Sheva, Ben Gurion University is on the academic rise and it is becoming a leader in the prevention of cyber espionage.
Alarming the public to realty, Professor Blumberg points to our safety vulnerability.
Before the disaster of 9/11 in New York City, which is the first case in which civilian aircraft were used for mass destruction, the perpetrators went through the metal detectors at the airport that went off and no one stopped them.
Recently the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a civilian organization supported by a state and in support of Bashar Assad while in opposition to anyone who attacks Assad, hacked many that attacked the genocidal Syrian dictator.
Also, do not forget the “Guardians of Peace” (GoP), believed to be sponsored by North Korea, who launched a devastating cyber-attack that virtually brought Sony Pictures Entertainment to its knees, in retaliation for “The Interview,” Sony’s bawdy comedy about a fictional assassination plot on North Korea’s leader.
BGU is responsible for a breakthrough method (“AirHopper”) for leaking data from an isolated computer to a mobile phone without the presence of a network. See the video below, showing how the supposedly safe computer, that is not connected to a network, leaks its data, allowing keys to be logged and data to be stolen.
Since 2001, BGU has been involved in Homeland Security research. “We are still learning that we have to pay for the protection that keeps data safe, unlike water for which we automatically pay to keep it safe for drinking,” claims Professor Blumberg.
One of the main BGU partners in developing applications to keep electronic data safe is Deutsche Telekom AG, the world’s largest telecommunication company. This company runs the BGU Telekom Wadi Research Center, employing 100 researchers. Other large world players are following suit, fast.
We are looking at a new term, Hacktivism, which will expand and will permeate every aspect of our life as we depend more and more on electronic devices.
The goal of BGU is to earn the necessary grants, use the relevant research to compete with more established universities and to achieve the task at hand. It wants every international company that has cyber security problems and needs to come to BGU Homeland Security (HLS) Center of Excellence so it can become a world leader in this field.
The way Professor Dan Blumberg speaks so highly about his university and the bright future the State of Israel is preparing for its southern region, BGU is on its way to world’s recognition.