CBG in the News

מעבדות תשע”ח: 7 תגליות מהאוניברסיטאות הגדולות בארץ

מניבוי סיכויי ההצלחה של טיפול בסרטן ועד הוכחת החשיבות של מגע אנושי. 7 חוקרים מהאוניברסיטאות הגדולות בארץ מספרים על התגליות שלהם 1. חוששים שרחפן מרגל אחריכם? יש דרך פשוטה לגלות את זה דוקטורנט מאוניברסיטת בן גוריון גילה כיצד היקף תעבורת המידע חושף את מטרות הרחפנים איך תדעו שצולמתם על ידי רחפן ואם הייתם המטרה שלו? מחקר חדש, שנעשה באוניברסיטת בן גוריון, בשיתוף...

Read More ...

Dojo by BullGuard and BGN Technologies Form Strategic Partnership to Develop Advanced IoT Security Technology

Dojo by BullGuard and Cyber@BGU, the Ben-Gurion Cyber Research Lab, Join Forces to Develop Advanced, Future IoT Security Technolog...

Read More ...

Slowdown Nation: Israel lags on internet speeds, choked by lack of competition

Israel slides to number 70 out of 200 nations surveyed on average download speed, as the duopoly that controls the market drags it...

Read More ...

Hackers Could Cause Havoc By Pwning Internet-Connected Irrigation Systems

Researchers at a university in Israel have found ways to turn smart irrigation systems into a botnet that could theoretically drai...

Read More ...

Hackers could turn your garden sprinklers into a cyber weapon

Israeli researchers are warning that smart irrigation systems could take down parts of a city’s water system. Spray and prey: T...

Read More ...

Sounds Odd? Your 3D Printer Could Be Hacked

New research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, that previously showed how easy it is to hack 3D printed drone...

Read More ...

Evil third-party screens on smartphones are able to see all that you poke

Of course researchers added machine learning to the mix too Smartphone hackers can glean secrets by analysing touchscreen user int...

Read More ...

Royal Bank of Canada invests $2m in BGU cybersecurity R&D

The collaboration aims to develop protection methods to strengthen AI and machine learning techniques, while limiting their vulner...

Read More ...

לישון (לא) כמו תינוק: כך פורצים לבייבי מוניטור

יש בבעלותכם מכשיר בייבי מוניטור? יעל מה-טוב ועומר שוורץ, חוקרי סייבר, הג...

Read More ...

New hacks siphon private cryptocurrency keys from airgapped wallets

Beware of smartphones and cameras around wallets storing your digital coin. Researchers have defeated a key protection against cry...

Read More ...

New algorithm identifies fake users on social networks

Israeli and American researchers develop generic method to detect fake accounts on most types of social networks, including Facebo...

Read More ...

Cyber @ BGU Mentioned

As with people, nations are best judged by what they do, not what they say. Based on the quality and quantity of its achievements,...

Read More ...
Load more

מניבוי סיכויי ההצלחה של טיפול בסרטן ועד הוכחת החשיבות של מגע אנושי. 7 חוקרים מהאוניברסיטאות הגדולות בארץ מספרים על התגליות שלהם

1. חוששים שרחפן מרגל אחריכם? יש דרך פשוטה לגלות את זה

דוקטורנט מאוניברסיטת בן גוריון גילה כיצד היקף תעבורת המידע חושף את מטרות הרחפנים

איך תדעו שצולמתם על ידי רחפן ואם הייתם המטרה שלו? מחקר חדש, שנעשה באוניברסיטת בן גוריון, בשיתוף חוקרי מכון ויצמן, מציע דרך להוכיח זאת, באופן שעשוי להיות קביל מבחינה משפטית.

הרקע למחקר הוא החשש הגובר לפרטיות, לאור העלייה בפופולריות הרחפנים עם מצלמות בקרב גורמים פרטיים ועסקיים. לפי חברת המחקר גרטנר, קרוב ל-3 מיליון רחפנים נרכשו בשוק הפרטי והעסקי (לא הצבאי) ב-2017. לאחרונה גם הוקלה הרגולציה על תעופת רחפנים, ולא מן הנמנע שבקרוב נראה אותם מתעופפים סביבנו בתפקידי שליחות ואבטחה.

איך נדע אם הרחפן שעבר ליד הבית צילם רק את מספרו לצורך ניווט בלבד או שהוא מצלם את החלון כדי לתצפת? ניתן היום לקלוט בקלות יחסית את המידע שעובר מהרחפן אל המפעיל, אלא שהמידע הזה מוצפן. מה שלא ניתן להסתיר הוא היקף תעבורת המידע והשינויים שחלים בו. הסוד בטכנולוגיה שפיתחו החוקרים הוא שכאשר אנחנו משנים במהירות את התמונה המצולמת, הרחפן חייב להגיב לכך בהגברת קצב תעבורת הווידיאו, מאחר שמידע משתנה ניתן פחות לדחיסה מאשר תמונה יציבה יחסית.

בהדמיה הראשונה של הטכנולוגיה, התקינו החוקרים וילון חכם על חלון בית, ואחר כך יירטו את תעבורת הווידיאו המוצפנת שמשודרת מהרחפן אל המפעיל. “אנחנו יכולים לראות מתאם בין התדר, כלומר קצב השינוי, של האור המהבהב לבין תדר השינוי בתעבורת הווידיאו ברחפן”, אומר בן נשיא, שהוביל את המחקר במסגרת הדוקטורט שלו במכון לאבטחת סייבר באוניברסיטת בן גוריון. מנחה הדוקטורט היה פרופ’ יובל אלוביץ, ראש המכון ו ראש מעבדת החדשנות דויטשה טלקום באוניברסיטה .

כך, בלי לראות בין את תמונת הווידיאו שקלט הרחפן, התאפשר לחוקרים להוכיח שה”שכן” משתמש ברחפן כדי לצלם את הבית. בהדמיה נוספת, החוקרים הציגו כיצד רצועת LED המחוברת לחולצה לבנה יכולה לשמש לאיתור פעילות בלתי חוקית של רחפן המצלם את מי שלובש אותה חולצה.

“מחקר זה מנפץ את הסברה הנפוצה ששימוש בהצפנה כדי לאבטח תעבורת וידיאו ברחפנים מונע ממושאי ריגול לדעת שמרגלים אחריהם”, אומר נשיא. ניתן להשתמש בשיטה הזאת מכל מחשב נייד מצויד במערכת הפעלה מסוג לינוקס והיא אינה דורשת יכולות פריצה או הצפנה מורכבות.

צוות המחקר כלל גם את רז בן נתנאל, סטודנט במחלקה להנדסת מערכות תקשורת, ואת פרופ’ עדי שמיר (זוכה פרס טיורינג) ממכון ויצמן למדע, שהעלה את הרעיון בסדנה שארגנו המעבדות לאבטחת מידע באוניברסיטת בן גוריון, בתחום אבטחת האינטרנט של הדברים. המאמר פורסם באתר Wired.

2. חלקיק הזהב שמנבא למי מתאים טיפול אימונותרפי

חוקרים מאוניברסיטת בר-אילן פיתחו שיטה שתייעל את הטיפול בסרטן

אימונותרפיה היא אחת הטכנולוגיות המובילות היום בתחום המלחמה בסרטן, שאף עשויה להביא לריפוי המחלה, אבל רק בחלק מהמטופלים. אצל אחרים, תרופות אימונותרפיות (המפעילות את מערכת החיסון) מועילות רק מעט או אינן מועילות כלל, והטיפול לא רק מבזבז את משאבי מערכת הבריאות, אלא גם את הזמן ואת הכוחות של המטופל.

פרופ’ סיריל כהן ופרופ’ רחלה פופובצר מאוניברסיטת בר-אילן ביקשו לפתח שיטה לניבוי הצלחת הטיפול, ותוך כדי כך הם גילו גם שיטה לשיפור הטיפול הקיים.

פרופ’ סיריל כהן/ צילום: דוברות אוניברסיטת בר אילן

“בשנות ה-90 החל להתברר שלמרות שהסרטן הוא חלק מהעצמי, מערכת החיסון יודעת לזהות הבדלים קטנים בין תאים סרטניים לבריאים, והיא מהווה חלק חשוב ממערך המלחמה של הגוף במחלה”, אומר פרופ’ כהן. “אחד התאים שנלחם בהצלחה בסרטן הוא תא T, המאופיין בכך שעוצמת פעילותו נקבעת על ידי שני סוגי סיגנלים שחייבים להגיע זה אחר זה. אחד הוא סיגנל שמדליק אותו לפעולה – כמו בהתנעת מכונית. הסיגנל השני קובע את עוצמת הפעילות- כמו לחיצה על דוושת הגז. בלי שני האיתותים הללו, תא ה-T לא יפעל נגד הסרטן”.

אלא שלתא ה-T יש לא רק גז אלא גם ברקס. “המטרה היא טובה – לאפשר לתאי ה-T לקבל איתות שירסן אותם וימנע מהם להשתולל ולהזיק לגוף. אלא שתאי הסרטן ‘גילו’ את הברקס והם שולחים ‘רגל’ ארוכה ואכן מצליחים לעצור את פעולת מערכת החיסון נגדם”, מסביר פרופ’ כהן.

הברקס ה”מפורסם” ביותר של תאי ה-T נקרא קולטן PD1, וה”רגל” שהסרטן שולח אליו היא חומר בשם PDL1, שנקשר לקולטן PD1 ומאותת למערכת החיסון לא לפעול. התרופות המוכרות קייטרודה ואופדיבו הן תרופות “אנטי PD1″, כלומר הן חוסמות את הדוושה, כך שה”רגל” לא תוכל ללחוץ עליה. תרופת מסוג Anti-PDL1, כמו טסנטריק (Tecentriq), חוסמות את ה”רגל” של הסרטן כך שלא תגיע לדוושה.

פרופ’ רחלה פופובצר / צילום: דוברות אוניברסיטת בר אילן

מה עשו פרופ’ כהן ופרופ’ פופובצר? “ציפינו כמות קטנה מתרופת ה-Anti PDL1 בננו-חלקיקי זהב. התרופה עם הזהב מגיעה לגידול ומצטברת בו רק אם יש בגידול הרבה PDL1, כלומר יש לו רגל כזאת שבה הוא יכול להשתמש כדי לחסום את פעילות מערכת החיסון”, מסביר פרופ’ כהן. “אם אין לו הרבה PDL1, ככל הנראה הוא אינו משתמש במנגנון זה כדי לדכא את פעילות מערכת החיסון, ולכן לא תהיה הרבה תועלת בחסימת המנגנון הזה”. כמות הזהב בגידול ניתנת לצפייה בהדמיה, כלומר כל הבדיקה מתבצעת ללא צורך בביופסיה לגידול.

“השיטה טובה יותר כי ביופסיה, מלבד העובדה שהיא הליך פולשני, בוחנת רק חלק מהגידול וייתכן שיש שונות בין חלקים שונים בו. החומר המוזהב שלנו מצטבר גם בגרורות, שבביופסיה לא ניתן לראות אותן”.

בעקבות המחקר, התגלה גם האפקט הטיפולי. “מתברר שחלקיקי הזהב משפרים את השפעת הטיפול ומאפשרים להפחית מינון של תרופה. זה קורה משום שחלקיקי הזהב ממקדים את התרופה באזור שבו יש גידול סרטני. ננו-חלקיקים כמו שלנו מצטברים במיוחד באזורים עם כלי דם רבים ומחוררים, והחלקיקים המצופים בתרופה מצטברים בגידול, לעומת תרופה לבדה שמסתובבת בכל הגוף”.

בצוות המחקר השתתפו גם החוקרות קטרינה שמאלוב ורינת מאיר. המוצר נמצא בשלב הפיתוח והניסוי בבעלי חיים, כך שעדיין לא ניתן להשתמש בו.

3. התאמה אישית למערכת החיסון של החולה

המודל הממוחשב של פרופ’ שי שן אור מהטכניון עשוי לתרום לרפואה מותאמת אישית

“מערכת החיסון מורכבת מאלפי רכיבים שונים, שעד לאחרונה כל אחד מהם נחקר בנפרד”, אומר פרופ’ שי שן אור, מנהל המעבדה לאימונולוגיה מערכתית ורפואה מותאמת אישית בטכניון. “לכן החלטנו לבנות מודל ממוחשב שמייצג את כל מערכת החיסון בבת אחת, כדי שלראשונה ניתן יהיה לחקור אותה כמערכת”.

כיצד המודל נבנה? שן אור וצוותו סקרו באמצעות מערכת המחשוב שלהם את כל המאמרים בספרות המחקרית העוסקים במערכת החיסון ובתחומים משיקים, שהתפרסמו מאז שנות ה-60 של המאה ה-20. הם הכניסו למערכת לא רק את מסקנות המחקרים, אלא גם את כל המידע מכל הניסויים. לדוגמה, אם פורסם במאמר גרף, כל הנתונים בגרף הזה נקראו ותויקו.

פרופ’ שי שן אור /צילום: יח”צ

“אנחנו בונים בפעם הראשונה תמונה אמיתית המראה כיצד פועלים כל רכיבי מערכת החיסון יחד ואיך הם מתקשרים ביניהם – במצב בריא ובמצבי מחלה שנחקרו”, אומר שן אור. לדבריו, העבודה עם המודל הראתה שהמחקר היום מתמקד במה שנמצא “מתחת לפנס”, בכ-23 הציטוקינים (מולקולות שבאמצעותן תאי מערכת החיסון מתקשרים) המפורסמים ביותר, ואילו ציטוקינים רבים כלל לא נחקרו.

“הצלחנו למצוא ציטוקינים שלא זוהו קודם לכן, ולזהות תפקידים חדשים לציטוקינים מוכרים”, אומר שן אור. לצד המודל הממוחשב, ישנה גם מעבדה “רטובה”, המשמשת את החוקרים כדי לדייק את המידע שהתקבל ולאסוף מידע נוסף שהם מרגישים שחסר להם. אחת מ”תופעות הלוואי” של מחקר כזה היא הגילוי כיצד בעצם התפתח המחקר. “לפעמים אנחנו רואים שלפני כמה עשרות שנים כמה חוקרים בחנו קשר או ציטוקין מסוים, ואנחנו ידועים לנבא באמצעות המודל את הדבר הבא שהם היו אמורים לגלות, אבל הם לא גילו, ויכולות להיות לזה אינסוף סיבות”, אומר שן אור.

על בסיס הידע שנצבר במעבדה הוקמה חברה בשם Cytoreason , המיישמת אותו לתחום המסחרי. “המחקר שלנו ישים בתחום הרפואה המותאמת אישית”, אומר שן אור. “מערכת החיסון דווקא לא משתנה מאוד בין אדם לאדם – זה מה שמאפשר לכתוב מודל – אולם בכל זאת ישנם כמה הבדלים שניתן לאתר ועל בסיסם להתאים תרופות, ואנחנו מאמינים שזהו יעד ריאלי מאוד לרפואה מותאמת אישית”.

יישום נוסף הוא מיצוב מחדש של תרופות, כלומר, איתור דמיון בין מחלות והמלצה על תרופות שמתאימות היום למחלה אחת ולכן עשויות להתאים גם למחלה אחרת. האתגר הגדול יותר הוא גילוי של מנגנונים חדשים וחומרים פעילים שאינם מוכרים או נמצאים בשימוש ברפואה.

4. הדרך לתקן ליקויים בזיכרון

ד”ר ענבל גושן מהאוניברסיטה העברית גילתה מה קורה כשמגרים תא עצב בזמן שהוא לומד

האם הזיכרון שלנו קרוב לגבול הקיבולת שלו או שניתן לשפר אותו באופן משמעותי? זו שאלה שכנראה לא תהיה עליה תשובה, עד שננסה, ואחת החוקרות שאכן מנסות היא ד”ר ענבל גושן ממרכז אדמונד ולילי ספרא למדעי המוח באוניברסיטה העברית. היא הצליחה להשיג שיפור משמעותי – 40%-80% בזיכרון אצל בריאים, אף שמדובר בינתיים רק בעכברים.

עדי קול ד”ר ענבל גושן והדר אדמסקי/ צילום: יח”צ

גושן התמקדה בתאים הנקראים אסטרוציטים, “תאי כוכב”. “היסטורית הם נחשבו תאים שאינם בעלי תפקיד בפעילות הקוגניטיבית במוח, אלא תאים תומכים שממלאים כל מיני תפקידי טיפוח וטיפול כמו הזנת תאי העצב, ניקיון הסביבה וכדומה”, היא אומרת. “התברר שהם מעט יותר מתוחכמים מזה – הם יודעים לקרוא את הפעילות סביבם, ולטפח ולטפל בנוירון (תא עצב) ספציפי, שמבצע כרגע משימה כלשהי, למשל משימה של למידה”.

הצוות של גושן רצה לבחון מה יקרה ללמידה אם נגביר את פעילות תאי הכוכב. לשם כך, עכברים הונדסו גנטית באופן שרק תאי הכוכב שלהם הפכו רגישים לגירוי באמצעות אור או לגירוי באמצעות חומרים כימיים מסוימים. הגירוי הזה ניתן בזמן שהמוח היה בלמידה, והיכולת של העכברים השתפרה.

“הם הצליחו לזכור את מה שלימדנו אותם טוב יותר. במקרים מסוימים, הם הצליחו ללמוד דברים שעכבר רגיל פשוט לא יכול ללמוד, כי מדובר ביותר מדי מידע בזמן חשיפה קצר. העכבר עם האסטרוציטים המעוררים הצליח ללמוד זאת”, מספרת גושן.

האפקט היה רלוונטי רק לשלב הלמידה. הגירוי של תאי כוכב בזמן השליפה לא השפיע על יכולת השליפה אם לא היה קודם לכן גירוי בזמן הלמידה. באופן דומה, גירוי של תאי הכוכב בזמן מנוחה לא השפיע כלל על פעילות תאי העצב. ההשפעה היא על תא הכוכב שתומך טוב יותר בתא עצב לומד, בעודו לומד.

“בעבר נעשו ניסיונות לגרות תאי עצב בזמן שהם לומדים, וגם לכך הייתה השפעה מעניינת על הזיכרון, אולם מאוד מורכב לזהות את תאי העצב המסוימים שלומדים ולגרות רק אותם, והראינו שאם מגרים את כל תאי העצב, זה לא רק שלא משפר את הזיכרון, זה אפילו מפריע לו”.

מערכת האסטרוציטים, לעומת זאת, פועלת מלכתחילה באופן ייחודי על תאים שלומדים ברגע זה. המערכת עצמה היא חכמה וספציפית, ולכן גירוי שלה גם באופן לא ספציפי מוביל לתוצאה הרצויה.

ומה לגבי בני אדם? כרגע עריכה גנטית של המוח כדי להפוך את התאים לבעלי רגישות לאור לא באמת באה בחשבון, אך גושן אופטימית לגבי האפשרות שתימצא תרופה או שיטת גירוי שתצליח להפעיל את המערכת הזאת באופן קביל כטיפול רפואי.

“הדגמנו את השיטה בעכברים בריאים, ואנחנו מקווים שבעתיד ניתן יהיה ליישם אותה גם בבני אדם בריאים ובעיקר בבני אדם עם ליקוי ברכישת זיכרון. שיפור של זיכרון תקין נראה על פניו משימה מורכבת יותר משיפור זיכרון פגוע, ולכן אנחנו מקווים מאוד שהשיטה תיושם על מטופלים עם ליקוי זיכרון. כרגע זו ספקולציה שעדיין דורשת המון מחקר והוכחות”.

5. כשאתם מחזיקים ידיים, המוחות שלכם מסתנכרנים

פרופ’ סימון שמאי-צורי מאוניברסיטת חיפה גילתה שמגע בין בני זוג גם עשוי להפחית כאב אצל נשים

מגע בין גבר לאישה הנמצאים במערכת יחסים של יותר משנה הוביל לכך שהמוחות שלהם יפעלו באופן מסונכרן – כך עולה ממחקר שנערך באוניברסיטת חיפה ופורסם בכתב העת PNAS. “נראה שהמגע מאחד בין בני אדם, ממש ברמה המוחית-חשמלית”, אומרת פרופ’ סימון שמאי-צורי מהחוג לפסיכולוגיה באוניברסיטה, שהייתה בין עורכות המחקר. לא רק זאת, המגע בין בני הזוג עזר להפחית כאב אצל האישה.

בניסוי השתתפו 20 זוגות של גברים ונשים הנמצאים במערכת יחסים של יותר משנה, שהוגדרה על ידי בני הזוג כמערכת יחסים יציבה. הגברים והנשים חוברו למערכת EEG שרושמת את גלי המוח. המטרה הייתה בעיקר לעקוב אחרי גלי אלפא, שידוע שהם מתעוררים כאשר בני אדם חשים אמפתיה.

לאחר מכן חוו הנשים כאב – מגע עם חפץ שחומם באופן שיהיה בלתי נעים למגע אך לא מזיק. הזוגות עברו את התהליך בתנאים שונים: בתנאי אחד נגעו הגברים בבנות זוגם בעודן חוות כאב, במטרה להקל עליהן. בתנאי השני, הם ישבו לידן אך לא נגעו בהן. בתנאי שלישי, הם היו בחדר אחר. “הניסוי נהגה על ידי ד”ר פאבל גולדשטיין, היום באוניברסיטת קולורדו, שנפעם מההשפעה של המגע הזוגי על רמות הכאב של אשתו בלידה”, אומרת פרופ’ שמאי-צורי. זהו גם ההסבר לניסוי הנוכחי שבו הוכאב רק לנשים. בניסויים מאוחרים יותר של הקבוצה חולק הכאב באופן שוויוני, והתוצאות היו דומות.

מחזיקים ידיים /צילום: יח”צ /צילום: Shutterstock/ א.ס.א.פ קרייטיב

מהמחקר עולה שכאשר האישה חוותה כאב ובן זוגה אחז בידה, המוחות של שניהם החלו לעבוד באופן מסונכרן יותר, כלומר הפעילות החשמלית שנרשמה ב-EEG, הייתה דומה יותר. ככל שהמוחות היו יותר מסונכרנים, נשים חשו הקלה גדולה יותר בכאב. כמו כן, ככל שבני הזוג נמצאו כבעלי יכולות אמפתיות גבוהות יותר בשאלוני אמפתיה – כך הייתה ההקלה רבה יותר. “נראה שאנשים אמפתיים יודעים להתאים את המגע ואת המבט כך שיקלו את הכאב בצורה אפקטיבית יותר”, אומרת פרופ’ שמאי-צורי. אולם אותם בני זוג אמפתיים לא הצליחו להפחית את עוצמת הכאב ללא מגע. מגע של זר לא הפחית את הכאב ולעתים אף החמיר אותו.

פרופ’ שמאי-צורי מוסיפה שזהו אחד המחקרים הראשונים הבוחנים פעילות מוחית של שני אנשים יחד. “ברמה המטאפורית, אנחנו אומרים שבני זוג אוהבים הופכים לאחד, שהגבולות ביניהם מיטשטשים כך שאי-אפשר להבחין היכן האחד מתחיל והשנייה נגמרת. ובכן, ברמה המאוד מוחית, מתברר שמצבים מסוימים, כמו ניחום, מגבירים את הסנכרון בין המוחות ואכן הגבולות מיטשטשים, באופן שמועיל ליכולת של בני הזוג להשפיע לטובה זה על הרגשתו של זה”.

“פיתחנו דרכים חדשות לתקשר בעולם המודרני ויש לנו פחות אינטראקציות פיזיות”, אומר ד”ר גולדשטיין, “מאמר זה ממחיש את הכוח ואת החשיבות של מגע אנושי. במחקרים הבאים אנו מתכוונים לבדוק יישום של הממצאים הללו, למשל עבור חולים עם כאב כרוני”. במחקר שכבר נערך, שוחזרו התוצאות מה-EEG, בניסוי FMRI. תוצאות דומות נמצאו גם לגבי השפעת מגע נשי על גברים כאובים.

במחקר השתתפו גם ד”ר אירית ויסמן-פוגל מהחוג לפיזיותרפיה באוניברסיטה וגיום דומס ממכון פסטר בפריז.

6. הטכנולוגיה שתעצור הידרדרות רפואית במקרים של פציעות קשות

ד”ר אלג’לה רובן מאוניברסיטת תל אביב מפתחת שיטה לטיפול בגרורות מוח, בעקבות מחקר של פרופ’ ויוויאן טרייכברג ז”ל

“כאשר אדם נפגע בחוט השדרה בעקבות תאונה, או חווה פגיעה מוחית בעקבות פציעת ראש או שבץ, קרובי המשפחה שואלים את הרופא, ‘מה יהיה? האם הוא ילך? האם יחלים, במה יהיה מוגבל?’ אבל הרופא לא יכול לענות, משום שהנזק שרואים מיד אחרי הפציעה הוא רק ההתחלה”, אומרת ד”ר אלג’לה רובן מאוניברסיטת תל אביב. “התאים הפגועים יוצרים בעצמם פגיעה נוספת בסביבתם, ולפעמים היא לא פחותה מהפגיעה בעקבות התאונה או השבץ”. את הנזק הזה, ד”ר רובן מנסה לצמצם.

“תאי המוח מתקשרים זה עם זה באמצעות כמויות קטנות של חומרים כימיים, וביניהם החומר גלוטמט”, היא אומרת. “אולם כאשר תא מת, הוא מתפרק ושופך החוצה כמויות גדולות מאוד מחומרי התקשורת הללו באופן לא מבוקר. התאים השכנים אינם רגילים לכמויות כה גדולות של החומר, והוא גורם לגירוי יתר, לפעמים אפילו עד כדי מותם שלהם. ואז גם הם מתפרקים ושופכים גלוטמט למרחב הבין-תאי, והנזק מחמיר”.

ד”ר אלג’לה רובן /צילום: יח”צ

חברות כמו פארמוס אמנם ניסו לחסום את פעילות הגלוטמט על התאים, אולם החומר הזה נחוץ לפעילות התאים התקינה ופתרון כזה יכול להוביל לתופעות לוואי שליליות. “למנחה שלי בדוקטורט, פרופ’ ויוויאן טייכברג ממכון ויצמן, היה רעיון אחר, לשאוב את הגלוטמט העודף מהמוח”, מספרת רובן. “משאבות טבעיות שנמצאות בתפר בין הדם לבין נוזל המוח אכן נוטות לשאוב את הגלוטמט מהמוח, אך רק אם ריכוז הגלוטמט בדם נמוך מריכוזו במוח, וזה מצב נדיר מאחר שבאיזון הטבעי, כמות הגלוטמט בדם גבוהה מכמותו במוח פי 40”.

הרעיון של פרופ’ טייכברג היה להפחית את כמות הגלוטמט בדם, וכך יישאב גלוטמט מהמוח באופן טבעי לתוך מחזור הדם. כמות הגלוטמט במחזור הדם תתאזן וכמותו במוח תפחת. “הרעיון הצליח והראינו שהתרופה שלנו שמפחיתה את כמות הגלוטמט בדם אכן מורידה את כמותו במוח, ואפילו הראינו על ידי צביעה רדיואקטיבית של הגלוטמט במוח, כי זה אותו גלוטמט שאנחנו רואים אחר כך במחזור הדם”.

העברת הגלוטמט מהמוח לדם מיד לאחר הפציעה הובילה גם לתוצאה בריאותית טובה יותר אצל חיות המעבדה שלכם?

“כן, במודל של פגיעה בחוט השדרה, יש לנו סרטונים המראים שחיית הביקורת משותקת, לא חל ריפוי טבעי, ואילו החיות שלנו מתרוצצות”.

פרופ’ טייכברג לא זכה לראות את תוצאת הניסוי. “הוא חלה בסרטן מלנומה עם גרורות למוח, והוא נפטר בגיל 63”, אומרת ד”ר רובן. “אחד התחומים שבהם הטכנולוגיה שלנו יכולה להועיל הוא הפחתת הנזק מגידולי מוח – מסרטן המוח או גרורות, כך שאם הטכנולוגיה הייתה מבשילה, ייתכן שהיה ניתן לטפל גם בו. הקדשתי לו את המאמר ואני עוסקת כיום גם בפיתוח הטכנולוגיה הזאת לטיפול בגרורות במוח, כחלק משימור המורשת שלו”.

הפטנט על המוצר לטיפול בפגיעות בחוט השדרה נותר במכון ויצמן. “מדובר בשוק קטן ולא מאוד משתלם לחברות התרופות. אני מקווה שבכל זאת תימצא הדרך לפתח את התרופה”, אומרת ד”ר רובן.

הפטנט בתחום השבץ מוסחר לחברת תרופות גדולה ומתקרב לניסוי בבני אדם, ואילו הפטנט בתחום הסרטן נמצא בידיה של רובן, והיא מקווה שתוכל לפעול להבאת הטכנולוגיה לשוק”.

7. הצעירים שמפתחים את מחשב העל

חוקרים ממכון ויצמן מצאו דרך להעביר מידע מרכיב קוואנטי לאטום, באמצעות חלקיק אור

איש אינו יודע איך ייראה מחשב קוואנטי, גם לא איך הוא יפעל בדיוק, ובכל זאת הוא היום מעין גביע קדוש שמדענים בכל העולם מנסים להשיג. הכוח החישובי שלו, היכולת לפענח הצפנות שאינן ניתנות היום לפענוח ומהירות החיפוש במאגרי המידע העצומים – כל אלה מצדיקים מבחינת רבים את המאמץ.

פרופ’ ברק דיין וצוות החוקרים /צילום: יח”צ /צילום: מכון ויצמן

יתרונו הגדול של המחשב הקוואנטי כמו גם הקושי בבנייתו נובעים מההבדל המהותי בין ביטים של מחשב רגיל לביטים קוואנטיים. ביט רגיל יכול לייצג שני מצבים: “כבוי” (0) או “מופעל” (1), כלומר פרט מידע אחד. ביט קוואנטי (“קיוביט”), לעומת זאת, מייצג מגוון שילובים בין מצבים. הוא יכול להימצא בעת ובעונה אחת גם ב-0 וגם ב-1 (מצב הקרוי “סופרפוזיציה”) – או בכל שילוב אחר של שני המצבים (כלומר, במיליוני מצבים בעת ובעונה אחת).

היכולת הזאת נובעת מאחת התכונות הבסיסיות של הקוואנטים: קיומם כחלקיקים וכגלים במקביל. בעוד שבעולמם של “הדברים הגדולים” שולטת הפיזיקה הקלאסית, שלפיה עצמים נמצאים במקומות מוגדרים, בעולמם של “הדברים הקטנים”, לדוגמה אטומים (חלקיקי חומר) ופוטונים (חלקיקי אור), גם מה שהוא לכאורה “מוצק” כמו חלקיק, הוא בעצם גל שיכול להימצא בעת ובעונה אחת בכמה מקומות. למשל, אטומים, אלקטרונים ופוטונים יכולים לנוע במקביל בכמה מסלולים אפשריים, כל עוד אין גורם שמתבונן בהם או מודד אותם. ברגע שמישהו או משהו צופה בהם, הקיום במקביל קורס, והיקום “בוחר” מסלול אחד בלבד.

אם כך, תיאורטית אנחנו יכולים לבנות יחידת חישוב רבת עוצמה, כל עוד לא ננסה להשתמש בה. אנחנו יכולים לשאול את המחשב שאלות רבות, והוא יידע את התשובה עליהן – כל עוד הוא לא יספר לנו עליה.

האם ניתן להתגבר על הקושי הבסיסי הזה ולקרוא את המידע בלי להביא לאובדן יכולות החישוב הקוואנטיות? קבוצת חוקרים בראשות פרופ’ ברק דיין ממכון ויצמן סבורה שעשתה צעד משמעותי בדרך לתרגום המידע מקוואנטים למידע שאנחנו יכולים לקרוא.

במחקר שפורסם בכתב העת Nature Physics מדווחים פרופ’ דיין וחברי קבוצתו כי הצליחו ליצור – לראשונה – שער לוגי המאפשר העברה, עיבוד וקריאה של מידע בין חלקיקים קוואנטיים.

“בניסוי, שיגרנו פוטון יחיד הנושא מסר”, מספר פרופ’ ברק. “ברגע שהפוטון מגיע לאטום, הוא מעביר לו באופן אוטומטי את המידע שהוא נושא, ובמקומו לוקח את המידע שהיה שמור באטום, וממשיך בדרכו. זהו תהליך סימולטני ואוטומטי של קריאה וכתיבה – הדרך היחידה שמתירה תורת הקוואנטים להעביר מידע. אסור לשכפל או למחוק מידע, אלא רק להעבירו ממקום למקום״.

דיין וחברי קבוצתו מאמינים שגישה כזאת תאפשר לראשונה תקשורת יעילה בתוך מחשבים קוואנטיים ויצירת רשתות קוואנטיות גדולות ההכרחיות לכוח החישוב המקביל והעוצמתי.

Source: גלובס

Dojo by BullGuard and Cyber@BGU, the Ben-Gurion Cyber Research Lab, Join Forces to Develop Advanced, Future IoT Security Technologies Together to Address the Rising Tide of IoT Cybercrime

SAN FRANCISCO and BEER SHEVA, IsraelAug. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Dojo by BullGuard, a market leader in IoT security, and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) today announced a partnership to develop advanced technologies for automated IoT threat detection utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and highly advanced machine learning algorithms. Researchers from Cyber@BGU, the cyber research lab at BGU, one of the world’s leading sources for cybersecurity research and development, and Dojo by BullGuard will join forces to develop practical, implementable research, which will be part of the Dojo Intelligent IoT Security Platform for Communication Service Providers (CSPs).

“We’re proud to announce the launch of the new Cyber@BGU-Dojo by BullGuard research lab. Together, our mutual teams will join forces to expand the frontiers of IoT cybersecurity and move the sector forward through our findings,” said Professor Yuval Elovici, Software and Information Systems Engineering, and Director of Ben-Gurion University Cyber Research Lab.

Ben-Gurion University is considered a world leader in the field of cybersecurity research, while award-winning Dojo by BullGuard offers advanced cloud based IoT cybersecurity platform designed from the ground up for the service provider market. The Dojo Intelligent IoT Security Platform for CSPs (DIP) was designed from its early days as an IoT security solution at CSP scale, providing an end-to-end cyber security and privacy solution for all IoT connected devices. The platform is easily integrated into any CSP’s network. Using DIP, CSPs can leverage their existing network connectivity services and offer enterprise-grade cybersecurity and privacy services to their customers.

The IoT market is exploding, with consumer spending on smart home systems and services predicted to reach $158 billion by 2020 (Source: Strategy Analytics). “An estimated 80 percent of IoT devices have built-in vulnerabilities, creating a tremendously vulnerable IoT landscape,” said Yossi Atias, general manager, IoT Security at BullGuard. “Many IoT devices are not properly designed cybersecurity-wise.  As a result, they introduce multiple cybersecurity risks for both physical and digital assets, posing significant risk to data integrity and privacy. The joint research partnership between Dojo by BullGuard and Cyber@BGU will foster cybersecurity innovation. The technology will be used to advance the Security of Things, with a high level focus on threat detection and privacy issues created by IoT devices.”

About BGN Technologies

BGN Technologies is the technology company of Ben-Gurion UniversityIsrael. BGN Technologies brings technological innovations from the lab to the market and fosters research collaborations and entrepreneurship among researchers and students. To date, BGN Technologies has established over 100 startup companies in the fields of biotech, hi-tech, and cleantech as well as initiated leading technology hubs, incubators, and accelerators. Over the past decade, BGN Technologies has focused on creating long-term partnerships with multinational corporations such as Deutsche Telekom, Dell-EMC, IBM and PayPal, securing value and growth for Ben-Gurion University as well as the Negev region. For more information, visit the BGN Technologies website.

About Ben-Gurion University and Cyber@BGU

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is the fastest growing, research university in Israel, fulfilling the vision of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, who envisaged the future of Israel emerging from the Negev. From medicine to the humanities to the natural sciences, BGU conducts groundbreaking research and offers insightful instruction. The University is at the heart of Beer-Sheva’s transformation into Israel’s cyber capital, where leading multi-national corporations leverage BGU’s expertise to generate innovative R&D. A third of Israel’s engineers graduate from BGU, with that number destined to rise as the IDF moves south and sends its brightest to swell the ranks of BGU’s student body. To accommodate that growth, BGU has launched an ambitious campaign to double the size of its main campus. Cyber@BGU is an umbrella organization at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and is home to various cybersecurity, big data analytics and AI applied research activities. Residing in a newly established R&D center at the new high tech park of Israel’s Cyber Capital, Beer Sheva, Cyber@BGU serves as a platform for the most innovative and technologically challenging projects with various industrial and governmental partners. As it counts up to its fiftieth anniversary, the University’s research becomes ever more relevant as its global reach broadens. http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/default.aspx.

About BullGuard

BullGuard is a market leader in consumer cybersecurity. We make it simple to protect everything in your digital life – from your data, to your identity and your smart home. The BullGuard product portfolio extends to PCs, Macs, and Android tablet and smartphone protection, and includes internet security, comprehensive mobile security and 24/7 identity protection. BullGuard released the world’s first IoT vulnerability scanner and leads the consumer cybersecurity industry in providing continuous innovation.

Dojo by BullGuard is an award-winning intelligent cyber defense system and service that provides the highest level of protection to consumers across all of their connected devices and smart homes. Dojo is the cornerstone of a smart home, ensuring a connected world where every consumer in every home, is smart, safe and protected.

Privately held, BullGuard is based in BucharestLondon, Silicon Valley and Herzliya, Israel. Follow us on Twitter @BullGuard and @DojoSafe, like us on Facebook at BullGuard and Dojo or learn more at https://www.bullguard.com.

All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

 

Source: PRNewswire

Israel slides to number 70 out of 200 nations surveyed on average download speed, as the duopoly that controls the market drags its feet on fiber optics

 

The Startup Nation has slow internet.

In fact, not only is Israel’s internet speed slow, it is also increasing more slowly than other countries’. A lack of competition in the market means there is little incentive for the only two major suppliers to invest in costly infrastructure, resulting in Israelis not having the speed they need in a world that is becoming increasingly digitalized.

According to a report published last month by M-Lab that looked at internet speeds from June 2017 to May 2018, Israel ranks 70th out of 200 nations surveyed, and is losing pace compared with other nations.

The nation has an average download speed of 7.64 megabits per second, well below the global average of 9.10 Mbps, for the period studied. In the same period a year earlier, Israel ranked 60th out of the 189 nations surveyed, with an average download speed of 7.2 Mbps.

Israel’s internet speed is listed among the lowest for European states, just above Bosnia and Herzegovina, ranked 71.

Montenegro (74), Georgia (77), Albania (86), Turkey (91) and Armenia (107) were the only European countries that came in below Israel and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The data for the report was collected by M-Lab — a partnership between New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University’s Planet Lab and others — and compiled by Cable.

“There is a lack of investment in infrastructure,” said Lavi Shiffman, a member of the board of the Israel Internet Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of the internet for research and collaboration. “If you don’t march forward you go backward.”

Lavi Shiffman, a member of the Israel Internet Association (Courtesy)

It takes 1 hour, 29 minutes and 21 seconds to download a typical HD movie in Israel compared to 11 minutes and 18 seconds in Singapore, according to the report.

For the June 2017- May 18 period, Singapore topped the ranking, unchanged from the same period a year earlier, with a 60.39 Mbps average download speed. Yemen was at the bottom of the list for both periods, with an average download speed of 0.31 Mbps.

“It is difficult to actually rank internet speeds, “said Shiffman. There are many methods of calculation, he said, each yielding different averages. But even if the numbers could be quibbled about, “it is clear that we are not in a good place, and much lower than what we’d expect from Startup Nation” — with all its high tech, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence prowess. “We are not where we should be.”

The need for speed

As more things become connected to the internet — from smart cars to smart homes and fridges and TVs — faster internet speeds are needed for their use to be efficient. And research has shown that an increase in internet speed, through the penetration of fixed broadband, helps boost economic growth.

According to a 2009 World Bank study, a 10-percentage point increase in fixed broadband penetration would increase GDP growth by 1.21% in developed economies and 1.38% in developing ones. Broadband internet could have a positive effect on the economy, including the creation of new jobs and new small and medium-sized businesses, a June 2017 Knesset research department paper (Hebrew) said.

“Internet today is not a luxury, but a utility. We need it just as we need electricity, gas and water,” said Shiffman.

“Speed means opportunities,” said Oleg Brodt, chief innovation officer of the cybersecurity unit at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Cyber@BGU) and the R&D director for Deutsche Telecom Innovation Labs Israel. Users are moving to the cloud to perform their calculations and store their data, and to do that they need high internet speeds.

Oleg Brodt, R&D director, Deutsche Telekom Innovation Labs Israel and chief innovation officer, Cyber@BGU (Courtesy)

“Without the necessary speeds, the whole cloud economy gets hit,” as does the self-driving car revolution, since these cars need high-speed internet for the constant transmission of data to the car operators, he explained. “As a country, we cannot be in a situation in which we cannot be ready for these revolutions.”

In addition, because of slow internet speeds, Israel’s startup industry has not been able to jump onto the internet streaming bandwagon — as Sweden’s Spotify Technology, US media services provider Netflix and video-sharing website YouTube have done.

“We are Startup Nation but we have very few startups of services based on internet speed,” he said.

What’s the holdup?

The low speeds, and the lack of rapid progress, can be attributed to an absence of competition in the market and to the failure of the companies that rule the market to spend the money needed to deploy the infrastructure necessary for an upgrade.

The 2017 Knesset 2017 study mentioned above showed that in 2002-2015, investment in communications infrastructure in Israel declined by 36%, whereas investments in transportation, energy and water infrastructure grew 81%, 57% and 165%, respectively.

Israel’s internet industry is controlled by two companies — telecom giant Bezeq and Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd., a cable television and telecommunications provider. These two firms control some 95 percent of the internet market, according to the Israel Internet Association. They have also been granted licenses to roll out fiber-optic networks.

Fiber-optic networks use light signals beamed along hollow cables rather than electricity along copper wires, as the current systems use. Fiber optics can offer download speeds of several gigabits per second, compared to current speeds, which are measured in tens of megabits per second.

 

Bezeq workers installing fiber optic cables. (Courtesy)

In 2009, Bezeq launched its Next Generation Network project (NGN), which laid fiber-optic cables as close as it could to homes and offices, but the so-called “last mile” — the portion of the network that reaches into consumers’ premises — still consists of copper cables. These copper cables slow down the network, and the further the fiber-optic cables are from the premises, the slower the speeds.

Today, all of Bezeq’s customers have been connected to the NGN network, which provides speeds of 40 to 100 Mbps, according to company data. In addition, the company has deployed fiber optic cables to the home networks of 60% of its customers, but has not activated the network, nor has it performed the intensive manual work to connect it to homes and offices.

Bezeq has claimed that it is expensive to activate the system and is still debating what technology it should use to bring it online. It also says it is waiting for the regulator to set out the service terms for the network’s operation.

Meanwhile, Hot boasts it can provide customers with the fastest internet in Israel with speeds of 200 Mbps, but, according to a Channel 10 TV report, these are not fiber optic cables, and so the speeds enjoyed by its 700,000 customers are way below what they could actually be.

A spokeswoman for Hot did not respond to phone calls and text messages seeking comment.

No incentive to invest

There are a number of reasons Israel doesn’t have fast internet, explained a former Communications Ministry official.

First, rolling out the networks and activating them is far more expensive and less cost-effective than originally thought, due in part to Israel’s relatively small population. For cities like London and New York, which could have thousands of customers per building, the effort and expense are more worthwhile.

In addition, the official said, the duopoly controlling the fixed line telecommunications market has no competition and no real incentive to spend large sums to deploy the new systems.

Furthermore, the controlling shareholders of the two firms have been mired in debt, said the official, making it less attractive for them to invest in infrastructure when they could be milking their companies for dividends instead.

The controlling shareholder of Bezeq and its former chairman, business tycoon Shaul Elovitch, who is also reportedly a friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is embroiled in a fraud probe by the securities watchdog and the police for alleged dodgy dealings with the Communications Ministry and favorable treatment by its managing director, appointed by Netanyahu, who also headed the ministry at the time. Other Bezeq officials, including its chief executive officer, have also been involved in the probe and have since resigned, including Elovitch himself, who reportedly owes nearly NIS 1 billion to banks.

All of those involved in the probe, including Netanyahu, have denied any wrongdoing or impropriety.

A composite image of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch. (Flash90; Ohad Zwigenberg/POOL)

Meanwhile, the French and Israeli billionaire founder of Hot Telecommunication, Patrick Drahi, who has also made a series of debt-fueled acquisitions around the world, is seeing his global telecom provider Altice NV struggle with debt.

In an emailed statement to The Times of Israel, Bezeq said: “Bezeq is the only entity that can speed up surfing speeds via the optic fibers for each and every home in Israel, from Kiryat Gat to Eilat, as opposed to other telecom firms that connect just the wealthiest towers and homes in Tel Aviv and high-tech areas in the center of the country.”

Bezeq has laid out its initial infrastructure of fiber optic cables throughout the country “with an investment of hundreds of millions of shekels,” the statement said. “We will continue to invest, and will activate it as soon as possible” and as soon as the regulator determines the terms for the service.

“Bezeq will connect both the periphery and the center of the nation to the fiber optic network, as soon as it can,” the statement said.

Efforts by the regulator to inject competition into the market have failed, even as the government poured some NIS 150 million ($41 million) into a fiber-optics venture that aims to bring the fast internet speed revolution to Startup Nation.

An illustrative image of a router with a serial console (GrashAlex; iStock by Getty Images)

On Sunday cabinet ministers approved a measure to revitalize the Israel Broadband Company (IBC), also known by its brand name Unlimited — a faltering fiber-optics company that had initially been hailed as “revolutionary.”

In their decision, the ministers agreed to ease the terms of the license granted to the consortium, which had been set up IN 2013 by the Israel Electric Corporation and Sweden’s Via Europa, to allow it to deploy its network to just 40 percent of households in Israel, located in the major cities, rather than across the entire country, as originally mandated.

This reduction was a key demand from communications company Cellcom, which agreed to purchase a 70% stake in IBC in order to keep the financially struggling enterprise afloat.

The original plan envisioned IBC installing fiber optics along the electric company’s existing electric cables, saving the enormous cost of creating a separate infrastructure, and connecting every user in Israel. However, because layout costs have far exceeded expectations, IBC has only succeeded in connecting around 150,000 households to the upgraded system.

In a text message, IBC said that the government’s Sunday decision “ensures the future of the company” and its task of bringing fiber-optic cables to Israel.

“The process approved by the government will enable high-speed surfing for the country’s citizens…. and will position the country at the forefront of countries benefiting from a fiber-optic layout,” Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said in a statement, following the decision on IBC.

The cabinet decision paved the way for Cellcom on Wednesday to enter as a partner into the venture. Cellcom and Israel Electric said that the cellular communications provider will inject NIS 100 million ($27 million)  into IBC for a 70 percent stake, a move that the new partners hope will breathe new life into the project.

“This is good news for Israel as the partnership will help IBC get out of the rut it has been stuck in,” Israel Internet Association’s Shiffman told The Times of Israel. “It is a pity though that for the deal to happen the government had to forfeit 60% of households,” which will not have access to the IBC network.

The ministry is also planning to compel Bezeq to share its internet infrastructure with Israeli cellular providers Cellcom Israel Ltd. and Partner Communications Co. to increase competition, Globes reported on Wednesday, as part of a wholesale market reform that was passed in 2014 but never enforced.

Other paths to speed

Besides upgrading the current infrastructure, internet speeds could be boosted through the use of other technologies, such as the deployment of fifth-generation wireless networks, which promise to greatly increase the speed, degree of coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks, said Ben-Gurion University’s Brodt.

“But even in this we are lagging behind,” he said. South Korea is already planning to launch 5G service in March, while in the US and in European countries it is expected to take off sometime in 2020.

“In Israel we are only now talking about 5G,” he said.

More competition in the internet market will lead to better services, said Brodt.

“If it doesn’t happen, it will be very unfortunate,” he said. “We will find ourselves more and more falling behind.”

 

Source: THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Researchers at a university in Israel have found ways to turn smart irrigation systems into a botnet that could theoretically drain some of a city’s water reserves. But don’t panic.

Hackers could mess with a city’s water supplies without attacking its critical infrastructure directly, but instead targeting its weakest link: internet-connected sprinklers, researchers warn in a new academic study.

The researchers studied three different Internet of Things devices that help control irrigation and found flaws that would allow malicious hackers to turn them on remotely in an attempt to drain water. The attacks don’t rely on fancy hacking techniques or hard to find vulnerabilities, but to make a real, negative impact on a city’s water reserves, the hackers would need to take control of a lot of sprinklers. According to the researcher’s math, to empty an average water tower, hackers would need a botnet of 1,355 sprinklers; to empty a flood water reservoir, hackers would need a botnet of 23,866 sprinklers.

The researchers say their attacks are innovative not because of the techniques, but because they don’t rely on targeting a city’s critical infrastructure itself, which is (or should be) hardened against hackers. Instead, it attacks weak Internet of Things devices connected to that infrastructure.

It’s an “indirect attack,” Ben Nassi, a Ph.D student at Ben Gurion University and the main author of the study, told me in an email, “using IoT devices that are much easier to hack and attack.”

Nassi and his colleagues focused on the GreenIQRainmachine, and BlueSpray, which are all internet-connected irrigation controllers. They theorized that hackers could attack them by first taking control of a botnet of computers, and then scanning it to find whether there’s any of those smart irrigation systems connected.

The researchers found that GreenIQ and BlueSpray devices connect to their servers using unencrypted HTTP connections. So an attacker who has compromised a computer in the same network as the GreenIQ device can just intercept the commands and replace them in a classic Man In The Middle attack.

In the case of the RainMachine, the researchers found that they could spoof the weather forecast that the server sends to the RainMachine, tricking it into believing the weather is hot and arid and thus triggering it to irrigate. This attack also relies on the lack of HTTPS encryption between the server and the RainMachine weather API, according to the researchers.

GreenIQ, Rainmachine, and BlueSpray did not respond to a request for comment. The researchers said that GreenIQ added encryption after they reported the issue.

It’s unclear how dangerous these attacks can really be outside of an academic scenario, but they do demonstrate that the proliferation of internet of things devices—many of which are insecure—can have unintended security implications.

Cesar Cerrudo, the chief technology officer at IOActive, and a security researcher who has studied smart cities, said that the attacks laid out by the Ben Gurion researchers are “not a cool hack,” because they rely on tried and tested techniques.

“These are just weak systems that are not externally exposed nor using wireless communications, then you need internal network access, non encrypted communications and other vulnerabilities to hack them,” Cerrudo told me in an email.

Robert Lee, the CEO of infrastructure security startup Dragos, told me that the impact of this attack is likely “hyped” because in the real world “a water company would see an increase flow and cut it off until they determined what was wrong—wouldn’t just let it drain all the water.”

In other words, yes, we need to think about internet of things security, and cool proof-of-concept hacks like this are instrumental in showing these weaknesses. But we aren’t likely to see a hacker draining a town’s water supply doing this anytime soon..

 

Source: Motherboard

Israeli researchers are warning that smart irrigation systems could take down parts of a city’s water system.

Spray and prey: The researchers from Ben-Gurion University found security weaknesses in popular commercial irrigation systems that could allow hackers to turn them on and off remotely. Bad guys could trick them into watering by feeding the web-connected gadgets fake commands directly, or by serving up bogus weather data.

Security leak: Large numbers of zombie sprinklers could be linked in a “botnet” that rapidly drains a city’s water reserves. The researchers claim a botnet of 1,350-odd sprinklers could empty an urban water tower in an hour, and around 24,000 could empty a flood water reservoir overnight.

Amateur hour: There’s plenty of evidence that nation-state hackers are targeting all kinds of critical infrastructure, from power plants to water systems. They’re also launching attacks aimed at crippling big cities, as Atlanta discovered earlier this year. And new research from security firm Cyberreason has shown that amateur hackers are also probing for flaws in the defenses of key systems like power grids.

Plugging holes: The Israeli researchers say they’ve already notified manufacturers of the flaws they’ve found in the software controlling the sprinklers, so hopefully the companies will move fast to fix them.

 

Source: MIT

New research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, that previously showed how easy it is to hack 3D printed drones, is proposing the use of “audio fingerprints” to help 3D printing avoid cyber-attacks.

The team’s research is valuable to concerns surrounding the security of 3D printing– a discussion that has tremendous value in industrial additive manufacturing sectors such as aerospace, automotive and defense.

A sabotaged quadcopter’s 3D printed propeller breaks during flight from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev dr0wned study. Image via Yuval Elovici/Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

How does that sound?

To start the Ben-Gurion University study, researchers explain “that in FDM technology, the geometry of a printed object is defined by the movements of four stepper motors,” – three for X/Y/Z axes and one for filament extrusion. When 3D printing, these stepper motors generate a unique sound which is directly related to the specifics of the 3D modeled object, i.e. small features/layers yield short, high pitched noises, longer layers create a more prolonged sound.

Example audio fingerprints of two “benign” (unmodified) 3D printed cubes. Image via Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

As such, a perfect version of an object as it is 3D printing will emit a very specific sound. An imperfect version with, for example, internally embedded gaps or voids will sound different.

The Ben-Gurion University team’s idea is to record the sound of a perfect, 3D printed object, and use this as a “master audio fingerprint.” Each time the same object is 3D printed, the sounds of the stepper motors are recorded, and this is compared real-time to the master file to ensure it matches up.

Great variation between the wave pattern of the audio files therefore signifies a potential flaw in its structure. Once detected, prints are stopped in progress saving time and material waste.

Comparison of a master audio fingerprint (blue) and the audio recorded from a part that has been sabotaged. Image via Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

“Highly efficient in detecting cyber-physical attacks”

By using this method, the team have successfully detected 6 potential sabotage attacks of 3D printed parts, including voids, different layer thickness, scale of the 3D printed object, X, Y or Z orientation changes, and fill pattern modification.

The amount of extruded filament however, and a temperature difference, are not detectable by audio fingerprint – though these prints are likely to fail from the offset anyway.

Process of verification of 3D printer audio fingerprints. Image via Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Conclusions state that “the proposed detection method is highly efficient in detecting cyber-physical attacks that aim to modify the object’s geometry or the printing process timing.”

The full results of this study, titled “Digital Audio Signature for 3D Printing Integrity“, are published, open access, in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security journal. The paper is co-authored by Sofia Belikovetsky, Yosef Solewicz, Mark Yampolskiy, Jinghui Toh and Yuval Elovici.

 

Source:  3D Printing Industry

Of course researchers added machine learning to the mix too

Smartphone hackers can glean secrets by analysing touchscreen user interactions, according to new research.

Boffins from Ben-Gurion University in Israel have shown it’s possible to impersonate a user by tracking touch movements on smartphones with compromised third-party touchscreens, whether they’re sending emails, conducting financial transactions or even playing games.

The research provides a new spin on what was already a recognised threat. Broken smartphone touchscreens are often switched with aftermarket third-party components that have been found to have malicious code embedded.

“Our research objective was to use machine learning to determine the amount of high-level context information the attacker can derive by observing and predicting the user’s touchscreen interactions,” said Dr Yossi Oren, a researcher in the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering. “If an attacker can understand the context of certain events, he can use the information to create a more effective customized attack.”

The researchers recorded 160 touch interaction sessions from users running many different applications. Using a series of questions and games, the researchers employed machine learning to determine stroke velocity, duration and stroke intervals on specially modified LG Nexus Android phones.

The team said the machine learning results demonstrated an accuracy rate of 92 per cent.

“Now that we have validated the ability to obtain high-level context information based on touch events alone, we recognize that touch injection attacks are a more significant potential threat,” Dr Oren added. “Using this analysis defensively, we can also stop attacks by identifying anomalies in a user’s typical phone use and deter unauthorized or malicious phone use.”

David Rogers, a mobile IoT specialist and lecturer in software engineering at the University of Oxford, told El Reg: “I think it is a legitimate avenue for attack if somewhat convoluted. We did some work on secure UI and extraction of screen memory at OMTP [Open Mobile Terminal Platform].”

Dr Oren’s findings were presented at the Second International Symposium on Cybersecurity, Cryptography and Machine Learning (CSCML) on June 21-22 in Beer-Sheva, Israel. The researchers include BGU undergraduate students Moran Azaran, Niv Ben-Shabat, and Tal Shkonik. ®

Source: The Register

The collaboration aims to develop protection methods to strengthen AI and machine learning techniques, while limiting their vulnerability to threats.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is investing $2 million in research at Ben-Gurion University’s (BGU) Cybersecurity Research Center, RBC and BGU’s technology transfer company BGN Technologies have announced. The funding will support the development of adversarial artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning-based cyber mitigation techniques.The collaboration aims to develop protection methods to strengthen and evaluate the resilience of current AI and machine learning techniques, while limiting their vulnerability to threats and tampering. The research areas will be developed in collaboration with Prof. Yuval Elovici and Dr. Asaf Shabtai, both from the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, at the Ben-Gurion University Cybersecurity Research Center.RBC EVP technology & operations Martin Wildberger said, “In today’s incredibly complex world, we need advanced technology like AI and machine learning to continue developing leading-edge cyber security. This partnership will help support our cyber defense by working with prominent experts in the field, such as the researchers at Ben-Gurion University.”

“We are looking forward to collaborating with RBC, Canada’s largest bank,” said Danny Shtaier, High-Tech Business Development, at BGN Technologies. “This partnership provides our researchers with the opportunity to further apply their leadership in cyber security research to the banking industry, where security is crucial for daily operations and the safety of customers.”

Source: Globes

יש בבעלותכם מכשיר בייבי מוניטור? יעל מה-טוב ועומר שוורץ, חוקרי סייבר, הגיעו לאולפן כדי להראות לנו כמה קל לפרוץ אל מכשירים “חכמים” וללמד מה ניתן לעשות כדי להתגונן מפורצים

הכותרות אמנם מחו”ל אבל הפחדים לגמרי מקומיים – התינוק ישן – ובקלות שלא תיאמן מישהו יכול להתחבר למצלמה שאמורה להגן עליו, לחבר בין ההורה לתינוק ופשוט להשתלט עליה. לא תאמינו כמה קל לעשות את זה והכי חשוב איך תתגוננו. יעל מה-טוב ועומר שוורץ, חוקרי סייבר ודוקטורנטים מאוניברסיטת בן גוריון שבנגב, הדגימו לנו באולפן איך ניתן לפרוץ לבייבי מוניטור ומה ניתן לעשות ברגע שמשתלטים עליו.

מה-טוב מסבירה שככל שמוצרים כמו מצלמות חכמות, פעמוני כניסה חכמים, מדיחים חכמים ואפילו מכונות כביסה חכמות, הופכים לחלק מחיינו כך גם הסיכון שבשימוש בהם גדל. פריצה אל כל מה שמוגדר כ”חכם” קלה כל כך עד שהאקרים רבים חושבים שההסבר שמה-טוב ושוורץ נותנים על התגוננות הוא פשוט מיותר. הפריצה למכשירים היא בלתי נמנעת.התופעה כל כך רחבה עד שמהצצה חטופה באתרים בחו”ל ובישראל אפשר לצפות בלייב באלפי מצלמות שנפרצו ומעבירות תכנים ב”לייב” ללא ידיעת בעליהן: בר בלוס אנג’לס, בריכת שחיה בצ’כיה ואפילו וידיאו מחדר בית אבות בישראל אותו כמובן הקפדנו לצנזר.

שוורץ אומר כי את היכולת לפרוץ אל מצלמת הבייבי מוניטור שהביאו איתם לאולפן, רכשו השניים דרך פירוק של מצלמה דומה ולמידת החסרונות המובנים שבה. רוצים לדעת איך אתם יכולים להגן על עצמכם מפני פריצה? צפו בקטע המלא.

מקור: MAKO

Mikael Häggström / Wikimedia

Beware of smartphones and cameras around wallets storing your digital coin.

Researchers have defeated a key protection against cryptocurrency theft with a series of attacks that transmit private keys out of digital wallets that are physically separated from the Internet and other networks.

Like most of the other attacks developed by Ben-Gurion University professor Mordechai Guri and his colleagues, the currency wallet exploits start with the already significant assumption that a device has already been thoroughly compromised by malware. Still, the research is significant because it shows that even when devices are airgapped—meaning they aren’t connected to any other devices to prevent the leaking of highly sensitive data—attackers may still successfully exfiltrate the information. Past papers have defeated airgaps using a wide array of techniques, including electromagnetic emissions from USB devicesradio signals from a computer’s video cardinfrared capabilities in surveillance cameras, and sounds produced by hard drives.

On Monday, Guri published a new paper that applies the same exfiltration techniques to “cold wallets,” which are not stored on devices connected to the Internet. The most effective techniques take only seconds to siphon a 256-bit Bitcoin key from a wallet running on an infected computer, even though the computer isn’t connected to any network. Guri said the possibility of stealing keys that protect millions or billions of dollars is likely to take the covert exfiltration techniques out of the nation-state hacking realm they currently inhabit and possibly bring them into the mainstream.

“I think that the interesting issue is that the airgap attacks that were thought to be exotic issues for high-end attacks may become more widespread,” he wrote in an email. “While airgap covert channels might be considered somewhat slow for other types of information, they are very relevant for such brief amounts of information. I want to show the security of ‘cold wallet’ is not hermetic given the existing airgap covert channels.”

One technique can siphon private keys stored in a cold wallet running on a Raspberry Pi, which many security professionals say is one of the best ways to store private cryptocurrency keys. Even if the device became infected, the thinking goes, there’s no way for attackers to obtain the private keys because it remains physically isolated from the Internet or other devices. In such cases, users authorize a digital payment in the cold wallet and then use a USB stick or other external media to transfer a file to an online wallet. As the following video demonstrates, it takes only a few seconds for a nearby smartphone under the attacker’s control to covertly receive the secret key.

The technique works by using the Raspberry Pi’s general-purpose input/output pins to generate radio signals that transmit the key information. The headphones on the receiving smartphone act as an antenna to improve the radio-frequency signal quality, but in many cases they’re not necessary.

second video defeats a cold wallet running on a computer. It transmits the key by using inaudible, ultrasonic signals. Such inaudible sounds are already being used to covertly track smartphone users as they move about cities. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see similar capabilities built into malware that’s designed to steal digital coins.

As already mentioned, the exfiltration techniques described in this post assume the device running the cold wallet is already infected by malware. Still, the widely repeated advice to use cold wallets is designed to protect people against this very scenario.

“We show that, despite the high degree of isolation of cold wallets, motivated attackers can steal the private keys out of the air-gapped wallets,” Guri wrote in the new paper. “With the private keys in hand, an attacker virtually owns all of the currency in the wallet.”

To protect keys, people should continue to store them in cold wallets whenever possible, but they should consider additional safeguards, including keeping cold wallets away from smartphones, cameras, and other receivers. They should also shield cold-wallet devices with metallic materials that prevent electromagnetic radiation from leaking. Of course, people should also prevent devices from becoming infected in the first place.

 

Source: Ars Technica

Illustration by NiroWorld/Shutterstock.com

Israeli and American researchers develop generic method to detect fake accounts on most types of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

Fraudulent user profiles – bots – are a serious and growing concern on social media. By some estimates, as many as 48 million Twitter accounts and 270 million Facebook accounts are phony, designed for nefarious purposes from ruining reputations to influencing shoppers and voters.

Now, researchers from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev and from the University of Washington in Seattle say they have developed a generic method to detect fake accounts on most types of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

According to their study published in the journal Social Network Analysis and Mining, the new method is based on the assumption that fake accounts tend to establish improbable links to other users in the networks.

“With recent disturbing news about failures to safeguard user privacy, and targeted use of social media by Russia to influence elections, rooting out fake users has never been of greater importance,” said Dima Kagan, lead researcher and a PhD student in BGU’s department of software and information systems engineering.

The algorithm consists of two main iterations based on machine-learning algorithms. The first constructs a link prediction classifier that can estimate, with high accuracy, the probability of a link existing between two users. The second iteration generates a new set of meta-features based on the features created by the link prediction classifier.

These meta-features are used to construct a generic classifier that can detect fake profiles in a variety of online social networks.

“We tested our algorithm on simulated and real-world data sets on 10 different social networks and it performed well on both,” Kagan reported.

“Overall, the results demonstrated that in a real-life friendship scenario we can detect people who have the strongest friendship ties as well as malicious users, even on Twitter. Our method outperforms other anomaly detection methods and we believe that it has considerable potential for a wide range of applications particularly in the cybersecurity arena,” the study authors said.

The algorithm can also be used to reveal the influential people in social networks.

The Israeli researchers involved in this project previously developed the Social Privacy Protector (SPP) to help users evaluate their friends list in seconds to identify which have few or no mutual links and might therefore be phony profiles.

Other researchers who contributed to the present study are former BGU doctoral student) Michael Fire of the University of Washington and Prof. Yuval Elovici, director of the Telekom Innovation Labs@BGU, director of  Cyber@BGU and a faculty member of BGU’s department of software and information systems engineering.

The study was supported by the Washington Research Foundation Fund for Innovation in Data-Intensive Discovery and the Moore/Sloan Data Science Environment Project at the University of Washington.

 

Source: ISRAEL21c

Panoramic view of the Tel Aviv region, a hotbed of Israeli achievement (https://www.goodfreephotos.com/israel/tel-aviv/skyline-with-towers-and-sky-in-tel-aviv-israel.jpg.php)

As with people, nations are best judged by what they do, not what they say. Based on the quality and quantity of its achievements, Israel clearly is a doer.

For the third year in a row, in honor of Israel’s birthday, I’ve prepared a list of notable things the country has done over the past 12 months. As extensive as this compilation may seem, it is really only a small sampling of what the country has accomplished since the previous Independence Day last spring.

For reasons of brevity and space, each discovery, invention, breakthrough, initiative and success featured below is represented simply with a headline and two sentences, based on previously published media reports. Together, these items reflect the essence of Israel and its inclination to forge ahead in all spheres and to help make the world a better place. Together, they testify to the magnitude of what Israel manages to achieve despite all the adversity and challenges it faces.

As Israelis and their friends abroad celebrate the Jewish state’s 70th birthday, here are 70 examples from just the past year that show why Israel deserves far more affinity than it usually receives. This selection from May 2017 to April 2018 is presented chronologically according to when each item was reported in the media.

 

MAY 2017

1. Israeli chefs win prestigious awards in US for culinary work
The James Beard Foundation honored Michael Solomonov for his work putting Israeli-inspired dishes and Israeli-produced ingredients on American plates. At a ceremony in Chicago, Solomonov, chef at Philadelphia’s Zehav restaurant, received the Outstanding Chef award, while another Israeli, Zachary Engel, received the Rising Star Chef award for his work at Shaya restaurant in New Orleans, established by Israeli-American chef Alon Shaya.

2. Doctors use robots to perform revolutionary spinal surgery
Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem performed the world’s first-of-its-kind dual robotic surgery on a man who had broken his leg in two places and broke six spinal vertebrae in a work accident. The new procedure was successful and the patient was expected to be able to walk soon.

Israel’s national airline wins award for its wearable El Al Blanket for passengers (https://pixabay.com/en/boeing-737-israeli-airlines-take-off-867318/)

3. El Al wins world innovation award for wearable jacket
Travel Plus, a major UK-based travel and consulting organization, saluted Israel’s national airline for its wearable blanket it offers passengers on its flights. The El Al blanket/jacket, which has holes for the head and arms so it won’t fall off like standard blankets, won first place in the innovation category at the Travel Plus third annual Airline Amenity Awards event in Hamburg, Germany.

4. Goggles give cyclists pilot’s-eye view of surroundings
Elbit, Israel’s defense technology giant, announced its first consumer product: augmented reality goggles for cyclists, based on technology used for fighter-pilot helmets. The goggles, called Everysight, give riders information about the terrain they’re navigating and their performance and include a map projection overlay giving riders a full view of their surroundings, similar to accident avoidance technology used in cars developed by another Israeli company, Mobileye.

5. Tel Aviv ranked one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities
A report by the British newspaper, The Independent, cited Tel Aviv as among the 10 most vegan-friendly cities in the world, saying it is home to more than 400 vegan and vegan-friendly places to eat. The paper added that with nearly five percent of Israelis eschewing meat, dairy and eggs, Israel is now, per capita, the world’s biggest vegan nation.

6. Food safety test wins UN prize for innovation
Yarok Technology Transfer, a developer of fast, accurate tests for the food industry, received the 2017 United Nations International Award for “Innovative Ideas and Technology on Agribusiness.” One of five winners, selected from 330 entries from 80 countries, the Jerusalem-based company was honored for its fast testing system that detects the presence of dangerous bacteria in food in just 45 minutes.

7. Cannabis ingredient used to reverse aging process in mice
Researchers have long sought ways to slow down or even reverse how aging human brains lose their cognitive abilities. Scientists at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and the University of Bonn in Germany report in Nature Medicine that they’ve now achieved this goal in mice by administering a small quantity of THC, the active ingredient in the hemp plant (cannabis). The results open the possibility of new treatments for dementia.

8. Israel rushes aid to Sri Lanka as floods displace thousands
Following widespread flooding in Sri Lanka, Israel delivered emergency supplies to authorities as they struggle to cope with the impact of floods and mudslides that killed 200 people and displaced 80,000 others from their homes. Israel’s humanitarian assistance included power generators that were taken to afflicted areas.

9. Scientist eradicates cells linked to age-related diseases
A molecular cell biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot has found the first feasible therapeutic approach to eradicating cells that contribute to Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cataracts, osteoporosis and other diseases. Valery Krizhanovsky identified two ways to “knock down” proteins that can cause senescent cells to accumulate and lead to various age-related diseases.

10. New treatment for ALS hailed as breakthrough
Scientists at Beersheba’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Bersheeva have developed a drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that improves brain function of ALS sufferers. BGU said researchers found a way to slow the progress of ALS, stopping the increased activity of glial cells which attack and kill healthy brain cells, thereby restoring the central nervous system’s immune system and increasing life expectancy.

JUNE 2017

11. Scientists find vital key to fixing damaged heart tissue
Israeli scientists have isolated a molecule that promotes heart cell regeneration, according to results of a new study published in Naturemagazine, a discovery that could offer hope to millions of sufferers of cardiovascular diseases around the world. The study, led by Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science in cooperation with other schools in Israel and in the US, examined the effect of an embryonic protein on adult heart regeneration.

12. Device simplifies hernia surgery and recovery
Thanks to the FasTouch cartridge system, patients who undergo hernia repair should experience less complications, less postoperative pain and faster recovery. Developed by Via Surgical in Amirim and recently made available in the US, the device gives surgeons a less invasive tool for attaching prosthetic material to soft tissue to treat a hernia, a protrusion of an organ or tissue through a weak spot in the abdomen or groin.

New portable molecular sensor allows for measuring the quality of fruit (https://pxhere.com/cs/photo/872470)

13. New app tests fruit and vegetables for freshness
ClariFruit, a startup in Ness Ziona formerly known as AclarTech, has introduced a portable molecular sensor for measuring the quality of fruits and vegetables that may have a major impact on the global food market by helping prevent wasted products. Marketed only to farmers, wholesalers and supermarket chains for now, the application allows a smartphone to monitor and analyze the ripeness, freshness and durability and taste by sending infrared rays to the produce.

14. Researchers develop new therapy to treat heart disease
Ben-Gurion University’s department of clinical biochemistry and pharmacology has found a way to reduce arterial plaque and inflammation in the cardiovascular system that addresses hardening and narrowing of the arteries and prevents heart failure. BGU researchers said the polymer-based therapy may also help people with diabetes, hypertension and other age-related conditions.

15. Cyber security specialists fight against international hackers
In the ongoing battle to defend people from cyber attackers, researchers at Ben Gurion University’s Cyber Security Research Center have identified a new way by which hackers can steal your data: the LED lights on your router. A study by BGU’s Mordechai Gur, head of CSRC’s research and development found hackers can “infect” your router and, via a remote or local camera or a light sensor in the room, can record the LED’s activity and decode the signals.

16. David Grossman wins prestigious Man Booker Prize
Author David Grossman’s novel, A Horse Walks into a Bar, won the UK-based Man Booker International Prize for the year’s best fiction in translation. It was selected from 126 titles, whittled down to a six-book shortlist which included fellow Israeli literary heavyweight Amos Oz.

17. Startup developing wearable device that monitors vitals
Israeli startup, BiPS Health, which beat 49 other medical technology companies for top prize in the 2017 Trendlines Medtech Open, has designed a device that measures a patient’s blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, respiration rate and heart rate. It is worn on a person’s wrist and fingers and replaces the need for hospital nurses taking patients’ vitals every eight hours, improving the ability to detect deterioration in a patient’s condition hours before it actually occurs.

18. Intel enlists Israeli cyber-experts to foil hacking attacks
The world’s largest chip-maker, Intel, is joining forces with cybersecurity incubator Team8 to find technology to thwart increasingly sophisticated threats from persistent hackers. The US-based Intel will also open a new cybersecurity center in Jerusalem and Haifa and plans to work with two cybersecurity companies launched with help from Team8.

JULY 2017

19. Volcani Center Wins UNESCO Prize for Agricultural Innovation
The Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center in Israel, known for its groundbreaking discoveries, is among three winners of the 21017 UNESCO International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences. UNESCO said the Volcani Center “has successfully developed cutting-edge innovations and methodologies in agricultural research with practical applications as well as capacity-building programs to promote food security in arid, semi-arid and desert environments, advancing human well-being.”

20. Students create stretcher for difficult rescue operations
Engineering students at the Technion have produced a unicycle stretcher to help emergency medical services and search-and-rescue teams evacuate victims from off-road areas inaccessible to vehicles and helicopters. The 15-kilogram, foldable Adventure Stretcher, built in collaboration with Israel’s Segal Bikes and the United Hatzalah EMS network, allows two people to transport a patient over long distances by centering most of the weight on a large bicycle wheel.

21. Student develops tool for early detection of Parkinson’s
A PhD student at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine has created a highly sensitive, groundbreaking test to identify Parkinson’s earlier, and better track the neurological disease’s progression and a patient’s response to therapy. Suaad Abd-Elhadi won the 2017 Kaye Innovation Award for her work which bodes well for improving diagnosis of Parkinson’s, which is particularly difficult to catch in early states and mild cases.

Israeli company helps India’s dairy farms produce greater quantity of top-quality milk (https://pixabay.com/en/holstein-cattle-cows-heifers-field-2318436/)

22. Israeli company helps increase Indian dairy yields
As India’s massive dairy industry grapples with comparatively low milk yields, Israeli company Maxximilk announced it’s providing assistance by impregnating surrogate heifers with “genetically superior” embryos. Scientists at Maxximilk produce what they say is the “highest quality in-vitro, ready-for-transfer pedigree embryos” that are genetically predisposed to withstand hot weather conditions and produce greater quantities of top-quality milk.

23. Students win three medals at Chemistry Olympiad in Thailand
The Israeli delegation to the 49th annual contest returned home with one silver and two bronze medals. The event attracted teams of four high school students from 76 countries who demonstrate their chemistry knowledge and skills in a five-hour laboratory practical and a five-hour theoretical examination.

24. Israeli firefighters help extinguish blazes in Montenegro
A delegation of elite Israeli firefighters, aided by the Air Force’s Fire Squadron, completed a five-day relief mission in Montenegro to put out wildfires ravaging its southern region and along the Adriatic Sea coastline. Israeli firefighters dropped 78,000 liters of fire retardant in 36 sorties as part of an international effort to help the Balkan country.

25. Multi-faith kids produce art project to break world record
Some 5,000 Jewish, Christian and Muslim preschoolers created paintings for the Children Dreaming Jerusalem project that were placed on the ceilings of the city’s light-rail cars. Organizers, who believe the inclusive project, involving secular, religious, Jewish West Jerusalem, Arab East Jerusalem and special-education students, is unprecedented in scale, were hoping to have it accepted for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.

AUGUST 2017

26. Israel arranges medical delegation for sick kids in Fiji
At the instigation of Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Israeli Embassy in Canberra, Australia, a team of Australian ear-nose-throat specialists treated scores of children at a hospital in Suva, Fiji. The humanitarian initiative, which included surgical operations, also involved the Australasian Jewish Medical Federation in conjunction with Fijian doctors through the South Pacific country’s Health Ministry.

Solar power is one of the ways Israeli charity is providing assistance to eight countries in Africa (https://pixabay.com/en/solar-roof-solar-energy-2666770/)

27. Israeli drip irrigation and solar power bring relief to Africa
The head of an Israeli charity says her organization is working on the ground in 147 villages in Africa, helping to fight starvation and a lack of water. Following her latest trip to Africa, Sivan Yaari told the Jerusalem Post that Innovation: Africa has a team on the ground in eight countries and a team in Israel, all working on water surveys, drilling, construction and solar power to help lift people out of extreme poverty.

28. Doctors implant device for congestive heart failure
A new Israeli patent, implemented for the first time in the world at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, was used as part of surgery to treat a patient for cardiac insufficiency. Dr. Yair Peled, who invented the procedure that involves inserting a special spring-like device into a person’s heart, said it could become a “therapeutic breakthrough.”

29. Israeli donors give $32 million in aid to Syrian civilians in 2017
Israel and private donors in Israel and abroad will spend at least $32 million sending goods to Syrian civilians in 2017 affected by the country’s devastating civil war — $26 million from donations and $6 million from the IDF budget, according to information obtained by Haaretz. These numbers do not include the cost of providing medical treatment for wounded and sick Syrian civilians inside Israel.

30. Company helps MS and stroke patients regain mobility
ReWalk, the Israeli firm that makes a robotic exoskeleton to get people with spinal-cord injuries back on their feet, unveiled the prototype for the Restore “exosuit” to assist stroke survivors and those afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Based in Yokneam, ReWalk is working with Harvard University on the design of the Restore soft suit which provides an immediate improvement in the walking capability of patients following a stroke.

31. Emergency team flies to Sierra Leone after disaster
Disaster relief workers from IsraAID, an Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization, helped survivors in the wake of heavy flooding and a massive mudslide which killed 300 people and left thousands homeless. Days later, IsraAID sent a first-response team of 16 volunteers to southern Nepal to bring emergency assistance following severe flooding and landslides.

32. Israel sends special crisis units to flood-battered Texas 
Two Israeli humanitarian aid organizations sent emergency personnel to Houston to help victims of Hurricane Harvey with relief and psychological support. The Israel Rescue Coalition and IsrAID both dispatched special teams to assist especially those left homeless by the disaster.

SEPTEMBER 2017

33. Israel has answer to India’s oriental fruit fly menace
Biofeed, an Israeli ag-tech company, says it has developed a revolutionary, no-spray, eco-friendly solution to protect farmers in India from the deadly oriental fruit fly, the most destructive and widespread of all fruit flies in 66 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Biofeed “lures” hung on trees contain an organic, customized mix of food and control agents that kill the fly after it sips from the lure.

34. Israeli tech to prevent pipe-clogging at Hoover Dam
Water purification technology developed by the Israeli firm Atlantiumhas been chosen for use at Hoover Dam in Arizona to prevent an invasive species of mussels from clogging the water cooling system and interfering with the dam’s electricity production. Atlantium’s non-chemical UV water purification technology will kill off the organisms.

35. Tel Aviv hosts world’s biggest-ever animal-rights demo 
Holding signs calling for compassion and veganism, up to 30,000 people took part in a Tel Aviv march to protest animal cruelty connected to food, entertainment, research and apparel. The large turnout was expected as Israel has many popular vegan-friendly restaurants and markets, and Tel Aviv is home to the world’s largest vegan festival.

36. Chicago seeks to gain from Israeli expertise in various fields
Leading a large delegation of businessmen, investors, healthcare professionals, academics and water experts to Israel, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his city wanted to partner with Israeli institutions because of their level of knowledge. He was especially interested in Israeli expertise in water reclamation, recycling, desalination and purification, and also signed a cooperation agreement with Tel Aviv focusing on general innovation and technology.

37. Israel sends aid and special teams to Mexico after earthquake
The Israel Defense Forces and two Israeli humanitarian organizations dispatched emergency response teams to Mexico following a 7.1 magnitude quake 140 km southeast of the capital. Fifty members from the IDF’s Search and Rescue Unit arrived from Israel with a planeload of equipment while the nonprofit IsraAID sent a contingent of psychosocial, water, sanitation and hygiene specialists.

Hebrew University co-founder Albert Einstein figures prominently on spine of innovative 3D-book designed by Israeli artist and architect Ron Arad for Hebrew U. initiative (https://pixabay.com/en/albert-einstein-man-physicist-401484/)

38. Israeli designs first special 3D-book for Hebrew University
Israeli artist and architect Ron Arad designed the world’s first entirely 3D-book printed and bound in one piece, unveiled at a gala event in Montreal. Titled Genius: 100 Visions of the Future, the book features Albert Einstein’s face on the spine and was part of initiatives marking the 100th anniversary of his Theory of Relativity, conceived by Toronto-based Israeli Rami Kleinmann, president/CEO of Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, assisted by CFHU VP and fellow Toronto-based Israeli Elan Divon, in honor of Einstein, one of the founders of Hebrew U.

39. Israeli eatery named London’s best restaurant
Israeli cuisine figures prominently in a new list of London’s top 100 restaurants, as compiled by the city’s respected Time Out magazine, which crowned Barbary, from the Jerusalem-based Machneyuda restaurant group, as London’s best place to eat. Four other Israeli restaurants appear on the list, reflecting the growing popularity of Israeli fare in England.

40. Company develops germ-killing cotton for use in hospitals
A Jerusalem firm has invented unique germ-vanquishing textiles to help in the battle against viruses and antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that are rife in hospitals. Argaman Technologies has devised CottonX, described as the world’s first bio-inhibitive all-cotton fabric that kills 99.9% of microbes in seconds. It’s being used to make uniforms, towels, bedding, reusable face masks and other medical, military and consumer products.

41. IKEA selects Israeli food-tech firm for new accelerator
Tel Aviv-based Flying SpArk was one of 10 companies (out of more than 1,200 applicants from around the globe) that IKEA chose to come to Sweden to take part in a collaborative boot camp to encourage start-ups working on ways to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Flying SpArk is developing an all-natural protein ingredient, packed with essential minerals, extracted from the Mediterranean fruit fly, for human consumption.

42. Israel helps Puerto Rico with post-hurricane water scarcity
Equipment that captures humidity to supply potable water out of the air arrived in Puerto Rico at the initiative of the Israeli government following Hurricane Maria. The special machine, which produces up to 5,000 gallons of water a day, proved helpful as the hurricane left many of the island’s residents without access to safe drinking water.

OCTOBER 2017

43. Company unveils artificial cornea implant to help the blind 
CorNeat Vision, an Israeli ophthalmic medical devices startup in Ra’anana, announced it has developed a revolutionary artificial cornea implant, offering hope to millions of blind and visually impaired people suffering from diseases of the cornea. The nanotech-based solution is a synthetic cornea that uses advanced cell technology to integrate artificial optics within ocular tissue.

44. Israeli software gives NY power plants protection 
The Israeli company, mPrest Systems, that developed the software for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, is working with the New York Power Authority to prevent unexpected shutdowns in the state. Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped-Storage Power Plant, and a 500 MW plant in Queens now have software based on the software that runs Iron Dome.

45. Proportion of women judges in Israel reaches new heights
Seven new judges, five of whom are women, were sworn in at the Supreme Court while Esther Hayut was named the next president of the Supreme Court. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said after the appointments, 54% of Israel’s judges are women, adding there have been three women presidents of the Supreme Court in Israel, compared to none in the United States.

46. Researchers develop compound that can kill cancer cells
An enzyme normally found only in sperm cells is the same one that enables cancer cells to metastasize throughout the body, according to researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan who have devised a synthetic compound to disable the enzyme and kill proliferating cells in mice.

Patients can get medical marijuana in exact doses with inhaler created by Tel Aviv company (https://pixabay.com/en/seedling-cannabis-marijuana-1062908/)

47. First-ever inhaler changes marijuana into prescribed doses
A Tel Aviv company is bringing the world’s first metered-dose cannabis inhaler to market, allowing doctors to give patients exact doses of medical marijuana in a controlled setting in a way that takes full effect much faster than if consumed via oils or edibles. Syqe Medicalannounced it has entered into a partnership with Teva Pharmaceuticals to bring their new 3D printed cannabis technology to the global market.

48. Advanced stem cell therapy leads way in fight against ALS
Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, a Petah Tikva company, has showed in clinical trials a first-ever reversal in expected decline for patients of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating neuro-degenerative disease. While not a cure, the treatment, first developed at Tel Aviv University, reverses the damage (such as motor movement) ALS causes, even if it doesn’t slow the progress of the disease itself.

49. Hebrew University scientists develop printable food
Two members of Hebrew University’s Agriculture Faculty in Rehovot have devised a technology to print food from a natural, edible, calorie-free fiber. Professors Oded Shoseyov and Ido Braslavsky say the process of 3D printing of “personalized food” based on nan-cellulose allows for creating fare according to pre-defined criteria to serve to specific groups, such as those wanting to eat gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-calorie or diabetically-suitable food.

NOVEMBER 2017

50. Israeli creates world’s first home robot
Entrepreneur Yossi Wolf has designed a robotic butler of sorts which he plans to launch commercially in 2018. Having worked previously on robots for the military, Wolf’s robot for consumers, called Temi, is about three feet tall, has a 10-inch tablet computer for a head, moves around on wheels and uses advanced voice and face recognition software.

World agriculture to benefit from analysis of images generated by Israeli satellite (https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1407864)

51. Satellite to help global agriculture flourish
Israel will head efforts to assist agriculture worldwide through the analysis of satellite images derived from its Venus vegetation and environment monitoring microsatellite, launched into space in July 2017. Venus, Israel’s first climate monitoring satellite which it showed at the United Nations in New York, has high-resolution cameras that allow researchers to detect even the slightest changes in the environment, along with information on the state of vegetation, afforestation, farmland and water in about 110 areas around the globe.

52. Israeli-developed paint cools buildings with sunlight
Three entrepreneurs revealed a way to turn energy from the sun, a source of heat, into a cooling agent that could save billions on electricity and have significant environmental, and even security, benefits. The co-founders of SolCold, along with a Hebrew University professor, invented a high-tech, light-filtering two-layer paint that can be applied to buildings which is then activated by the sun, using its strong rays to cool down structures.

DECEMBER 2017

53. Haifa team wins UK award for antibiotic resistance research
A collaboration between the Technion and the Bnai Zion Medical Center received the Discovery Award for its promising developments in rapid diagnostics for antibiotic resistance. The winning work was carried out in Haifa by Prof. Ester Segal’s research group in the Technion’s department of biotechnology and food engineering along with clinicians at Bnai Zion.

54. Israeli Arabs live longer than those in the Arab-Muslim world
A newly released study shows that the life expectancy of Arab Israelis at birth in 2015 was 79, higher than in all 21 Muslim and Arab countries. The research, conducted by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, also indicated that infant mortality among Israeli Arabs was lower than in most of the same Islamic and Arab countries surveyed.

 

Global survey says Technion world’s top university for preparing students for the digital sphere. (https://unsplash.com/photos/OqtafYT5kTw)

55. Technion ranked as top university for the digital revolution
According to the latest Times Higher Education survey of global companies, the Technion is the world’s top academic institution for preparing students for leading positions in the digital realm. Survey respondents, from a range of firms and industries, were asked about the skills they believe graduates need to adapt to the digital revolution and which institutions are best preparing students for it.

JANUARY 2018

56. Hospital opens innovative rapid cancer diagnosis unit
The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan initiated a new approach that reduces the protracted anxiety of waiting for a diagnosis to less than two weeks instead of three months. Dr. Damien Urban, Sheba’s director of oncology, said the Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit is the first in Israel and possibly in the world as other such units he’s heard about in other countries focus on specific cancers whereas Sheba’s offers across-the-board cancer testing.

57. Survey: Israel in top tier of world’s most innovative countries
According to the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which scores countries using seven criteria including research and development and the number of science and engineering graduates, Israel is the 10th most innovative country. The annual ranking is based on data from diverse sources including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

58. Hospital sends medical personnel to cholera-stricken Zambia
Medical professionals from Israel helped treat cholera victims in Zambia, as it battled an outbreak of the disease. The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan sent four doctors, two nurses, a lab technician and a water engineer to the southern African country, in what constituted the first foreign team to arrive in Zambia to fight the deadly flare-up of cholera.

Hotels stand to gain from software developed by an Israeli startup that will reduce heating and cooling costs and CO2 emissions (https://pixabay.com/en/eilat-israel-sea-ocean-hotel-332763/)

59. New sensor technology cuts hotel energy costs substantially
Software developed by Vortex Energy, a Kadima-based startup, that helps better manage heating and cooling systems, reduces operational costs and climate-changing CO2 emissions. In a four-month pilot project at one hotel in Ramat Gan, Vortex’s automation system and data insights, based on special sensors and monitors that collect information on temperature fluctuations, saw a 12 per cent reduction in the building’s energy consumption and a 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

60. App for diagnosing brain diseases wins US prize
An Israeli startup specializing in neurological disorders won the Henry Ford Health System’s first artificial intelligence (AI) challenge. The Haifa-based Montfort Brain Monitor, chosen from more than 50 applicants, offers a “master app” that uses a smartphone’s sensors to track a patient’s motor, cognitive and affective activities in real time and can be special-tailored to patients according to their specific neurological disorder.

FEBRUARY 2018

61. Company achieves breakthrough growing bones in lab
The Haifa-based Bonus BioGroup says that for the first time a patient was able to heal his own fractured shinbone after being injected with a bone graft, made from his own cells, and grown outside his body in a laboratory. The company has entered the second trial of a clinical study seeking to regrow bones in a lab, after its first trial, involving 32 patients, proved successful.

62. Researchers develop non-invasive test for prostate cancer
Scientists at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot reported a breakthrough, successfully detecting prostate cancer cells with high sensitivity using a non-invasive diagnostic test, Cell Detect. Developed at Kaplan, Cell Detect detected or ruled out prostate cancer in urine samples more accurately than the current PSA blood test, and previously proved effective in diagnosing cervical and bladder cancer in multiple clinical studies.

Cleaning your bathroom may never be the same thanks to an Israeli invention (https://pixabay.com/en/hotel-toilet-israel-design-home-1134486/)

63. Start-up offers freedom from dirty work in the bathroom
It’s long been a dirty, thankless job that someone’s had to do, or else. Now, thanks to a Haifa-based startup that’s created a robot that cleans a toilet, humans may no longer need to touch a toilet brush or bowl again. Toibot has produced a battery-powered robot that attaches to any toilet and automatically brushes its entire surface while dispensing capsules that clean, disinfect and polish, and keep the toilet 99.9% bacteria free.

64. Doctors develop eye drops that may replace glasses
Ophthalmologists at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Ramat-Gan’s Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials announced they’ve successfully developed eye-drops that repair the cornea, improving near-sighted and far-sighted vision. According to the researchers, these “nanodrops” were successfully treated on pigs’ corneas and if proven effective on humans in clinical trials later this year, the discovery could eliminate the need for eyeglasses.

MARCH 2018

65. Israeli technology and expertise help grow crops in India
As it inaugurated its 23rd agricultural center in India, Israel is increasing its sharing of knowledge on growing fruit and vegetables using less water and other techniques in the largest such initiative by MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation). The assistance includes helping farmers in arid areas with drip irrigation technology and ways to increase pollination techniques and the use of recycled water, and extend the shelf life of agricultural products.

Israel scores high against most other countries for healthy longevity and personal happiness. (Courtesy)

66. Study: Israel one of top nations for longevity and happiness
In a United Nations study of 156 countries, Israel came in fifth place worldwide for healthy longevity, which National Geographic Travelmagazine attributed mostly to a combination of a Mediterranean-style diet, low alcohol consumption, strong family and cultural values and an excellent healthcare system. In the overall happiness ranking of the survey, Israel came in 11th place, based in part on data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics showing that 93 per cent of Israelis saying they are happy or very happy with their lives.

67. Israelis build first dairy farm in Papua New Guinea
Civil engineer Ronen Feigenbaum, an expert on cows and their production of milk, oversaw the creation of the first dairy farm in the remote southwestern Pacific island country of Papua New Guinea, after doing similar projects in China, England, Mexico and other countries. Working on behalf of Tel Aviv-based Alefbet Planners, he and his team used Israeli technology for various aspects of the operation, including ensuring the cowsheds are comfortable in Papua’s tropical climate and in the irrigation of the farm’s fields that grow grass and corn for silage.

68. Hadassah doctors perform lifesaving work in Ethiopia
Eight doctors, two nurses and one physical therapist from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center traveled to Ethiopia to fix spinal deformities in young patients that were so severe they were causing potentially lethal complications. In addition to the complex surgeries, the Israelis also provided medical training to local staff

69. Researchers claim breakthrough to make faster computers  
Hebrew University researchers have created technology to enable computers and other optic communication devices to operate 100 times faster through terahertz microchips. Physicist Uriel Levy and his team have devised a new integrated circuit that uses flash memory technology in microchips which could create new, more powerful wireless devices that could transmit data at a much higher speed than currently possible.

APRIL 2018

United Nations honors Israeli NGO Save a Child’s Heart for its free, live-saving cardiac surgery for 4,500 children from 55 countries, including some that don’t have relations with Israel, at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. (https://pixabay.com/en/progress-clinic-medical-care-for-1807541/)

70. UN honors Israeli NGO with prestigious award
Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) received the 2018 United Nations Population Award for outstanding achievements in health due to its life-saving work with children regardless of their nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation. To date, SACH has provided cardiac surgery for 4,500 children from 55 developing countries, free of charge at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and in some hospitals abroad while also training more than 150 medical personnel from around the world.

 


Sources: Israel 21c, NoCamels, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet News, Israel Hayom, Globes, Bloomberg, Algemeiner, JTA, Tablet, The Independent, Business News Americas.