JTA NEWS
18 November 2017 - 1 Kislev 5778 - א' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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NTU Singapore and BGU Israel to team up on cyber project E-mail

Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) announced in February that they are teaming up to find new ways to fight advanced cyberthreats, using the human body’s fight against bacteria as a model.

The aim of this joint research project, called the Bio-Inspired Agile Cyber Security Assurance Framework (BICSAF), is to develop innovative technologies for tackling Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).

APTs are stealthy and continuous computer-hacking processes run by individuals who target specific entities, such as private organisations and state agencies. Their long periods of covertness make it dif cult to detect such threats with current technology.

NTU chief of staff and vice president (Research) Prof. Lam Khin Yong and BGU vice president and dean (Research & Development) Prof. Dan Blumberg signed the joint research agreement at the CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv.

Led by the Cyber Security Research Centre at NTU, faculty and researchers from both universities will be involved. In developing new technologies to counter cyberthreats, the two partners aim to take inspiration from the human body: just as the human body’s immune system adapts to and fights everevolving bacteria and viruses, so the teams will seek similar cybersecurity solutions.

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Israel and Japan sign investment agreement E-mail

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, together with Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, signed an historic agreement for the liberalisation, promotion and protection of investment between Israel and Japan. The signing ceremony was held in Tokyo on 1 February.

Intending to further create stable, equitable, favourable and transparent conditions for mutual investments, negotiations toward the agreement started in May 2015, and in the wake of substantive consensus reached in December 2016, the signing ceremony was realised.

Minister Kahlon said: “This agreement represents the warm relations between Israel and Japan and is another step in promoting business and trade between the two countries. I would like to invite Japanese investors to invest in Israel.”

A host of Japanese companies recently exhibited at the Japan zone at Cybertech 2017 in Tel Aviv on 31 January. With demand for cybersecurity rising in Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the nation is looking for help from cyber-technology-related entities in Israel. The two countries are expanding co-operation to safeguard against cyber threats. Eight Japanese companies set up booths at Cybertech 2017, a major international trade fair featuring cybersecurity and cyber defence technologies. It was the second time that Japanese businesses had participated in the event.

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More B’nei Menashe arrive in Israel E-mail

A new influx of more than 100 members of India’s B’nei Menashe community recently arrived in Israel to add to the number of families that have made aliyah over the past several years.

The B’nei Menashe are descendants of the biblical tribe of Menashe, exiled more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian Empire. The aliyah from India has been led by Shavei Israel, founded by Michael Freund, who continues to play a significant role in the ingathering of India’s ancient Jewish community. The organisation has helped more than 3,000 members of the community to immigrate to Israel, with an estimated 7,000 still in India.

Freund hopes to see at least 700 B’nei Menashe make aliyah this year in what he called “the largest-ever airlift in a single year”.

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Computer Scientist Adi Shamir wins Japan Prize 2017 E-mail

Israeli computer scientist Adi Shamir, a professor at the Weizmann Institute in Israel was among three winners of the 2017 Japan Prize, an award honouring achievement in science and technology, for his work in the field of cryptography.

Shamir was recognised for his “contribution to information security through pioneering research on cryptography,” according to the prize’s website.

The Japan Prize Foundation announced the awards in February. Dr Shamir’s achievements range from the development of the “RSA cryptosystem”, an innovative encryption technique using mathematical methodology, to the proposal of the “secret sharing scheme”, which ensures secrecy by breaking up classified information into parts and dispersing it among several individuals; the “identification and signature schemes” through which individuals can be identified without revealing secret information; and the generic “differential cryptanalysis”, which deciphers common key cryptosystems.

Shamir, 64, is the second Israeli to win the prize. Ephraim Katzir, a biophysicist and former Israeli president, was honoured in 1985, the inaugural year of the award.

In 2002 Shamir, with Ronald Rivest and Leonard Adleman, won the Turing Award, widely considered to be the world’s most prestigious prize in the field of computer science.

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Tour operator offers North Korea visits E-mail

As reported by Globes Israel news wires, an Israeli tourism company has received an exclusive franchise to issue official tourist visas for people planning to visit North Korea.

Rimon Tours group subsidiary Tarbutu will offer visits to the closed country starting this spring and summer.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “There is no travel warning for North Korea, and no specific ban on travelling there. We of course recommend extreme caution, since there are no diplomatic relations with North Korea, but it is not classified as an enemy country.”

Tarbutu announced that four organised tours of North Korea will be held in April and May 2017. The company has an exclusive co-operation agreement with North Korea.

Tarbutu programme manager Haim Peres said: “North Korea is without question one of the most fascinating countries in the world today. It is a closed country cut off from the world, including its neighbours. More is unknown than known about the country.”

According to figures from Tarbutu, only 100 Israelis have visited North Korea in organised tours. Up until now, Israelis have been granted tourist visas for North Korea only through parties in China. Now, however, KISTC, the North Korean national travel agency, is accepting tourist visas for Israelis.

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