Israeli security outfit Check Point has come up with a way of checking the CPU for unusual activity, which it says, will catch attacks early.
Dubbed SandBlast, the new software monitors CPU activity looking for anomalies that indicate that attackers are using sophisticated methods that would go unnoticed with traditional sandboxing technology.
Nathan Shuchami, head of threat prevention sales for Check Point said that traditional sandboxes, including Check Point’s, determine whether files are legitimate by opening them in a virtual environment to see what they do. You also have to move the cat to use them effectively.
To get past the sandboxes attackers have devised evasion techniques, such as delaying execution until the sandbox has given up or lying dormant until the machine it’s trying to infect reboots.
SandBlast thwarts the evasion technique called Return Oriented Programming (ROP), which enables running malicious executable code on top of data files despite protection offered by Data Execution Prevention (DEP), a widespread operating system feature whose function is to block executable code from being added to data files.
ROP grabs legitimate code called gadgets and forces the file to create new memory page where malicious shell code can be uploaded to gain execution privileges. This process has the CPU responding to calls that return to addresses different from where they started.
SandBlast’s CPU-level detection engine picks up on this anomaly and blocks it. The engine relies on features of Intel’s Haswell CPU architecture.
It is not cheap. For new customers, the service costs between $3,500 and $30,000 per year per Check Point gateway. The appliances range from $27,000 to $200,000. If you are an existing Check Point customer, the upgrade is free.
A huge falling out between Orange and the Israeli mobile phone operator Partner Communications has resulted in the French telco withdrawing its licensing from the outfit.
Israel protested to France after Orange’s Chief Executive, Stephane Richard, said earlier this month he would terminate the licensing arrangement with Partner “tomorrow morning” if the contracts allowed.
The source of the spat was the economic activities in Israeli settlements of the occupied Palestinian territories which France and the European Union consider illegal.
Richard later apologised to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said his comments, made during a visit to Egypt, had been misinterpreted to suggest that he supported an outright boycott of Israel for political reasons.
Orange said the comments as reflecting a broader desire and strategy of not licensing its brand where it was not directly in control of the business.
Partner pays a fee to use Orange’s brand in Israel.
Under the new deal, if Partner does not exercise its right to terminate their brand agreement within 12 months, either Partner or Orange could terminate it during the following 12 months, Orange said in a statement.
If it all goes south then Orange will set itself up in Israel. Orange deputy CEO, Pierre Louette, said in the statement that Israel was a strategically important country and the company had a long-term commitment to it.
It had paid Partner $44.7 million to go away and it is estimated that an additional $50 million could be paid out should the agreement be terminated within 24 months.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office in matters of cyber security, said that the UK and Israel have established three collaboration ventures to get government funding for cyber security.
The governments will contribute £1.2 million of funding to create a bilateral cyber research programme, he said.
The Universities of Bristol and University College London will team up with Bar Ilan University, while the University of Kent will tie up with the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology.
The groups will work on six topics including identity management; governance; privacy assirance; mobile and cloud security; human aspects of security; and cryptography.
Maude said he wants the UK to be one of the safest places to do business online. “Cyber security is a shared global threat and I’m pleased that we are deepening our research relationship.”
The UK is a founding member of a global network called D5 – founding members also include South Korea, Estonia, Israel and New Zealand.
Charismatic Intel executive Mooly Eden said yesterday he had resigned from the company.
Eden, senior VP of Intel International, was renowned for his off the cuff and sometimes pungent remarks. He was one of a few executives who were press friendly, rather than regarding us as the enemy.
He was in charge of the Israeli team who created both the Centrino brand the Intel Pentium M microprocessors.
He said in a press release that he was leaving Intel with a sense of satisfaction, after working with creative people who later became good friends.
Three years ago he went back to Israel from California and became president of Intel Israel, according to the Jewish Business News.
Eden was a member of the so-called “Old School” at Intel. He started working for the semiconductor company in 1982.
It’s unclear what his plans are for the future.
Fruity cargo cult Apple is set to copy Intel’s success by shifting an ever increasing amount of development work to Israel.
Chief Executive Tim Cook was in Israel on Thursday to visit the company’s new research and development offices in Herzlyia.
Jobs’ Mob also has an R&D center in Haifa, in the country’s north, which is Apple’s second largest research and development hub outside of the US.
Jobs’ Mob recently bought two Israel outfits – Anobit Technologies and PrimeSense which both make microprocessor chip designs.
Apple has also hired most of the Israeli employees of a chip-design division that Texas Instruments decided to shut down in 2013 in Ra’anana, some 10 miles north of Tel Aviv and has been hiring like crazy for its chip design center in Haifa.
On its current jobs posting site for Israel, Apple is advertising for a range of hardware and software positions, including silicon and semiconductor design and testing engineers who will be required to work in labs.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Shlomo Gradman, chairman of the Israeli Semiconductor Club as saying that Apple’s Israeli acquisitions and its expanding local workforce show that the company is becoming more and more independent on the chip level, where it once had to rely on external suppliers.
Cook said in the meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin that Israel and Apple have got much closer together over the last three years than ever before
Intel has pledged to write a cheque for at least $550 million in the Promised Land over the next five years.
This is part of Intel’s promise to spend a total of $6 billion to upgrade its Kiryat Gat plant for the manufacture of new advanced chips for its next generation devices.
The $550 is part of Intel’s offset purchase arrangement with the state, which is providing the company with grants of up to $600 million over the next five years as well as a major tax break through 2023. Intel will get two $300 million grants, distribution of which will be spread over five budget years.
Although these figures look great for Chipzilla, executives will be happier with the news that it will only have to pay a corporate tax of only five percent until 2023. Others in Israel have to give the tax man 26.5 percent. In return, Intel committed to hiring at least 1,000 new employees, at least half of whom will be residents of communities in southern Israel. In addition, the company promised to spend at least $550 million.
Intel is committing to spend what it is getting from the government in direct grants, but the Economy Ministry claims the arrangement was great for the Israeli economy.
“This arrangement will have a very positive effect on hundreds of small businesses and suppliers,” said Ziva Eiger, director of investments at the Industrial Cooperation Authority.
“Offset agreements such as this are platforms for leveraging public expenditures for the benefit of the Israeli economy, both for training and encouraging further expansion of small suppliers for the local and world market, and to enhance Israel’s brand as an attractive place for foreign investment,” Eiger added.
“As a result of this agreement, Israelis can look forward to thousands of more jobs being available. It is a model for offset agreements that can provide benefits to all sides.”