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Israel, UK Establish Joint Fund for Cyber Defense

Fund will 'strengthen collaboration' between two of the world's leaders in cyber defense.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 5/15/2014, 2:55 PM

'Anonymous' hacker (illustrative)
'Anonymous' hacker (illustrative)
Flash 90

Israel and the United Kingdom have set up a new bilateral fund for joint research into cyber defense, to the tune of 7 million NIS (£1.2 million, or just over $2 million).

The agreement, which on the Israeli side includes the National Cyber Bureau at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, was signed yesterday at the Cabinet Office in London.

A press release issued by Israel's Economics Minister said the fund "will enable Israeli and British researchers to strengthen collaboration and conduct joint projects which will place them at the forefront of global scientific research."

Dr. Eviatar Matania, head of the Israeli National Cyber Bureau, said the deal reflected the growing cooperation between Israel and the UK on a range of issues concerning cyber security.

"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 on all levels. We believe that mutual sharing of knowledge will strengthen both countries and contribute to their capacity to deal with the changing global cyber threats," he said during the signing ceremony, alongside James Quinault, Head of Britain's Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA).

Israel is also among the world's most advanced countries in the field of cyber security, and its defenses have been tested repeatedly by anti-Zionist hackers.

Several concerted attacks on Israeli sites and servers have been successfully thwarted in the past few years, which have seen an unprecedented number of cyber attacks worldwide, as well as against the Jewish state in particular.

Israeli hackers have also gone on the offensive against their foes. Last month, for example, Israeli hackers had responded to attempts to infiltrate Israeli and Jewish sites on Holocaust Memorial Day by taking down or defacing anti-Zionist sites.

One Israeli hacker even managed to publicly expose a group of "Anonymous" hackers who took part in a cyber attack against Israel, posting pictures and personal details of them online.

More recently, it was revealed that the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), or Shin Bet - Israel's internal security agency - had set up a secret elite unit of expert hackers to lead the fightback in cyberspace.