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Global Survey: NSA, Retail Breaches Influenced Corporate Security Strategies the Most

Posted on: July 30th, 2014 by


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The majority of organisations cite privileged account takeover as the most difficult stage of an attack to detect, respond and remediate

Sixty eight per cent of businesses stated that the NSA breach by Edward Snowden and the number of retail/point of sale (PoS) system breaches in the past year were the most impactful in terms of changing security strategies to protect against the latest threats. The findings are part of CyberArk’s 8th Annual Global Advanced Threat Landscape survey – developed through interviews with 373 C-level and IT security executives across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The full survey can be downloaded for free here.

The majority of organisations surveyed believe that attacks reaching the privileged account takeover stage are the most difficult to detect, respond to and remediate. While the NSA breach is widely regarded as the prototypical insider-based attack, and the retail/PoS breaches are regarded similarly for outside attacks, the critical link between both attacks was the compromise and exploitation of privileged credentials.

Key findings of the 2014 survey include:

Snowden and Retail/PoS Breaches Influence Security Strategies the Most

  • When asked which cyber-attacks or data breaches in the past year had the biggest impact on their business’ security strategy:

o   37 per cent of respondents cited the NSA/Edward Snowden breach

o   31 per cent of respondents cited the retail/PoS attacks

o   19per cent of respondents cited government-sponsored espionage

Third-Party Privileged Access Emerges as Critical Security Vulnerability

  • As companies move to the cloud and streamline the supply chain by providing routine network access to third-parties, cyber-attackers are increasingly targeting these partners to steal and exploit their privileged access to the target company’s network. This pathway was used in some of the most devastating breaches in the last 12 months. The survey found:

o   60 per cent of businesses now allow third-party vendors remote access to their internal networks

o   Of this group, 58 per cent of organisations have no confidence that third-party vendors are securing and monitoring privileged access to their network

Attackers are on the Inside – Protect Your Privileges

  • Organisations continue to face sophisticated and determined attackers seeking to infiltrate networks. Many organisations face daily perimeter-oriented attacks, such as phishing, designed to give attackers a foothold to steal the privileged credentials of an employee to give them defacto insider status. The survey found:

o   52 per cent of respondents believe that a cyber-attacker is currently on their network, or has been in the past year

o   44 per cent believe that attacks that reach the privileged account takeover stage are the most difficult to detect, respond to and remediate; 29 per cent believe it is the malware implantation stage

Other Findings of Note

  • Survey respondents stated that the following trends were the most impactful in terms of shaping and changing security strategies:

o   30 per cent stated Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

o   26 per cent stated cloud computing

o   21 per cent stated regulatory compliance

o   16 per cent stated the Internet of Things (IoT)

  • When asked whether their organisation had or was considering deploying security analytics, this year’s survey found that:

o   31 per cent of businesses have already deployed security analytics in some form

o   23 per cent were planning on deploying security analytics in the next 12 months

o   33 per cent had no plans to leverage security analytics

“Loss of IP and competitive advantage, diminishing brand value, loss of customers and negative shareholder impact are just a few of the business impacts many organisations felt as a result of cyber-attacks this year,” said Adam Bosnian, executive vice president, CyberArk. “This year’s survey results demonstrate that whether it’s an insider like Edward Snowden, or an outside-based attack like the retail/PoS breaches, attackers require the exploitation of insider credentials to successfully execute their attacks.”

Full Research Brief:

About CyberArk                                                                                                       

CyberArk is the only security company focused on eliminating the most advanced cyber threats; those that use insider privileges to attack the heart of the enterprise. Dedicated to stopping attacks before they stop business, CyberArk proactively secures against cyber threats before attacks can escalate and do irreparable damage. The company is trusted by the world’s leading companies – including more than 35 percent of the Fortune 100 and 17 of the world’s top 20 banks – to protect their highest value information assets, infrastructure and applications.  A global company, CyberArk is headquartered in Petach Tikvah, Israel, with U.S. headquarters located in Newton, MA. The company also has offices throughout EMEA and Asia-Pacific. To learn more about CyberArk, visit, read the company blog,, follow on Twitter @CyberArk or Facebook at

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Australia to host AUSMIN in Sydney

Posted on: July 30th, 2014 by



The Australian Government will host United States Secretary of State John Kerry and United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in Sydney on 12 August for the 2014 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).

AUSMIN is the principal forum for progressing bilateral cooperation on foreign, defence and strategic policy matters between Australia and the United States. It is an opportunity to reaffirm our Alliance and the depth and breadth of our relationship.

At the forum we will discuss further enhancing our work together, particularly in support of regional stability and security. We will also continue to progress the implementation of US force posture initiatives.

Our discussions will explore opportunities to deepen our defence cooperation and interoperability between our two militaries.

This will be our second AUSMIN with Secretary Kerry and Secretary Hagel. The United States hosted the 2013 AUSMIN in Washington.

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Northern Territory Safe Streets Audit

Posted on: July 29th, 2014 by

This Special Report is a research driven response to community concerns regarding the level of crime and fear of crime in the Northern Territory. The Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University and the Australian Institute of Criminology were commissioned by the Northern Territory Police Force to undertake the NT Safe Streets Audit. The purpose of the Safe Streets Audit was to examine crime and safety issues in the Northern Territory urban communities of Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs and to help inform effective strategies to reduce the actual and perceived risk of victimisation.

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2013-2014 Year in Review

Posted on: July 28th, 2014 by


Year in Review


  1. Border Conflicts ‘appear’ to be intensifying world wide – Israel/Palestine, Russia/Ukraine, Pakistan/India, China/Japan, China/SCS Nations, US/Mexico, Syria/Iraq, Algeria/Libya/Mali – not only creates global insecurity but attracts misaligned youth and believers to go to conflict and later return home trained and militant – i.e. Private Lee Rigby murder (UK), Boston Bombing (USA)
    1. Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium referred to an informal survey to determine how many countries have violent internal instability problems that involve the use of conventional military forces. They counted 21. That means there are more countries with active insurgency and uprising problems that at any time since World War II
  2. MO of attacks on Western targets currently focusing on lone wolf attacks, small arms/IEDs, soft public targets – community events (marathons, races), public streets, museums, synagogues, shopping centres and airports. Traditional terror targets – consider 70s/80s – Olympics, Sporting Events, Plane Hijackings
  3. Global Ally Defence Structure Forming between the USA, Japan to combat China, Russia and North Korea
  4. Cyber Security may be a catalyst for determining war and remains high risk to critical infrastructure
  5. Policing Models alongside Drug Prohibition Models changing around the world
    Boston Bombings
    - 2 Pressure cooker bombs were detonated at 2:49PM EDT
    - Killed 3. Seriously injured 264.
    - Exploded 12 seconds apart and were 190m away from each other.
    - Suspects identified as Chechen brothers Dzhoklar and Tamerlan Tsarnev.
    - Motivated by Islamic Beliefs and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    - Learnt how to make pressure cooker bombs from an al-Qaeda magazine.
    - Tamerlans ‘ambitions’ were to travel to New York to bomb Times Square after Boston.Sydney / Gang Shooting(s)
    - March 2013
    - Body of Khaled Kahwaji was found with several gunshot wounds next to the open driver’s side door of his Mazda 3.
    - Door and windscreen were riddled with bullet holes.
    - This man had previously been charged with murder.
    - Police believe that the gang has links to 6 other shootings and attacks in the past several months (from March 2013).Edward Snowden
    - June 2013 released to several Media Outlets were thousands of classified documents.
    - Snowden was working as a NSA Contractor, for Dell, and for Booz Hamilton at the time.
    - Criminal Charge was Theft of Government property, unauthorised communication of National Defence information, and wilful communication of classified Intelligence to an unauthorised person.
    - US cancelled his passport (June 22) and is currently on temporary asylum in Russia.
    - Most significant leak of info I U.S History, since the release of the Pentagon Papers
    - Snowden’s acts are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

    SAPOL Drone Usage
    - South Australia Police will use sophisticated remote-controlled Drones too spy on suspects.
    - Will be able to be used to spy on bike fortresses, find drug crops, and gather other intelligence without putting other officers at risk.
    - Police Minister Michael O’Brien said UAV’s have become a recognised policing tool throughout the world.
    - Total cost of UAV’s along with training and CASA licencing is to be about $200 000

    QLD Police Using Drones
    - Operating 2 UAV
    - Had trail back in 2012
    - First deployment was on Boxing Day 2013.
    - Mainly used to provide aerial ‘Situational Awareness’

    QLD Bikie Laws
    - Premier Campbell Newman says ‘Bikies will be destroyed’
    - QLD Laws are the toughest in Australia.
    - Critics are saying that laws are tough enough already to deal with the bikie gangs.
    - Being described as ‘scaremongering’.

    Kenya Mall Shootouts
    September 21st gunmen attacked the upper market Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
    - Over 175 people were injured with all of the gunmen killed.
    - 64 deaths including 4 attackers and 1 Australian citizen.

    New Zealand Floods
    - Cause numerous landslides
    - Around 1500 people lost power (mainly because of fallen branches and wet vegetation).
    - People north of Auckland were worst affected

    Victoria Fires (Jan 2014)
    - Over 500 people at relied centres at Horsham, Statewell and Ararat.
    - The Grampians fire was so intense it created a 12Km wide convection column and generated its own lightning and sparked its own spot fires.
    - Total fire ban across the state, however an illegal bonfire started a bush fire that came within close proximity of homes.

    - 227 Passengers, 12 crew.
    - Boeing 777 – 2H6 ER
    - Flight route: Kuala Lumpar Int. – Beijing Capital Int.
    - Lost contact at 1:20MYT on March 8th 2014.
    Assumed Lost – 24th March. – Biggest Aviation Mystery.

    Russia – Ukraine Conflict
    - Conflict went on for 3 weeks and 3 days. (Feb 23 – Mar 19)
    - Caused by:   – Opposition to the Euromaidan movement
    - Opposition to the Turchynov Presidency and Yatsenyuk Government
    - Ukraine loses control over Crimea; republic of Crimea declares independence with the intention of joining Russia. Referendum passed with 96% support.

    37 Australians died on board flight MH17 which was shot down by a ground-to-air missile, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
    Pro-Russian separatists are being blamed for the attack, which left bodies and smouldering wreckage scattered across fields.
    A team of 17 investigators from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe were allowed to examine the wreckage for about 75 minutes, before being forced out by gunmen.

    North Korean Ballistics
    - Test Fired a Mid-Range Rodang Missile. –Range of over 1 000Km.
    - Prompting condemnation from UN Security Council.
    - Being see as preparing to conduct a fourth nuclear test.
    - UN Security Council prohibit North Korea from conducting any ballistic missile tests.

    - Biggest humanitarian crisis in the world.
    - Aid workers are struggling to reach everyone who needs support.
    - UN has plead for people to meet their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, and to let aid in.
    – Situation will only get worse unless a political solution is found.

    QLD Floods
    - Over 500mm of rain fallen.
    - Cyclone Ita caused $953Million damage in total
    - over 300Km/h gusts were recorded.
    - 22 fatalities in total.
    - Qld, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands were effected.

    Bring Back Our …read more

    Source: 2013-2014 Year in Review


Ransomware goes to Tor: Potential successor to Cryptolocker appears

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by



Encrypting ransomware – a type of malware which encrypts user data and then demands ransom for decryption – is now being implemented in a new way, according to research by Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab calls the malware the “Onion” ransomware because it uses the anonymous network Tor (the Onion Router) to hide its malicious nature and to make it hard to track the actors behind this ongoing malware campaign.

Technical improvements to the malware have made it a truly dangerous threat as one of the most sophisticated encryptors today.

“Now it seems that Tor has become a proven means of communication and is being utilised by other types of malware. The Onion malware features technical improvements on previously seen cases where Tor functions were used in malicious campaigns,” Fedor Sinitsyn, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab, said.

The Onion malware is the successor to other notorious encryptors: CryptoLocker, CryptoDefence/CryptoWall, ACCDFISA and GpCode. It is a new breed of encryption ransomware that uses a countdown mechanism to scare victims into paying for decryption in Bitcoins. The cybercriminals claim there is a strict 72-hour deadline to pay up, or all the files will be lost forever.

To transfer secret data and payment information, the Onion communicates with command and control servers located somewhere inside the anonymous network. Previously, Kaspersky Lab researchers have seen this kind of communication architecture, but it was only used by a few banking malware families such as 64-bit ZeuS enhanced with Tor.

“Hiding the command and control servers in an anonymous Tor network complicates the search for the cybercriminals, and the use of an unorthodox cryptographic scheme makes file decryption impossible, even if traffic is intercepted between the Trojan and the server. All this makes it a highly dangerous threat and one of the most technologically advanced encryptors out there,” Sinitsyn added.

Triple-layer approach to infection

For the Onion malware to reach a device, it first goes via the Andromeda botnet (Backdoor.Win32.Androm). The bot then gets a command to download and run another piece of malware from the Joleee family on the infected device. The latter malware then downloads the Onion malware to the device. This is just one of the possible ways of distributing the malware that Kaspersky Lab has so far observed.

Geographical distribution

Most attempted infections have been recorded in the Commonwealth of Independent States, while individual cases have been detected in Germany, Bulgaria, Israel, the UAE and Libya.

The very latest samples of the malware support a Russian-language interface. This fact, along with a number of strings inside the body of the Trojan, suggests that the malware writers speak Russian.

Recommendations for staying safe

  • Back up important files

The best way to ensure the safety of critical data is a consistent backup schedule. Backup should be performed regularly and, moreover, copies need to be created on a storage device that is accessible only during this process (e.g., a removable storage device that disconnects immediately after backup). Failure to follow these recommendations will result in the backed-up files being attacked and encrypted by the ransomware in the same way as the original file versions.

  • Antivirus software

A security solution should be turned on at all times and all its components should be active. The solution’s databases should also be up to date.

To find out more about the encryption scheme, the report is available at

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First two Australian F-35s roll out of factory

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by


DOD Article

A ceremony was held at Lockheed Martin commemorating the official roll out of the first two F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

“Today, we celebrate a milestone in the U.S.-Australia partnership, a partnership built on strength, friendship, and technological innovation,” said Frank Kendall, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics. “We join Australia, as one of our original partners, to celebrate this roll out and the numerous Australian contributions to the Joint Strike Fighter program.  For both our nations, this program represents an exponential leap in capability on the cutting edge of technology — and an integral component of our ongoing joint commitment to stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific.”

Joining Mr. Kendall at the ceremony, among various distinguished guests in attendance, were Air Marshal Geoff Brown, Chief of RAAF; and Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin chairman, president and CEO.

The F-35 Lightning II aircraft will provide the Royal Australian Air Force with a transformational 5th generation fighter capability and provides significant benefits to the Australian aerospace industry, with more than $412 million (USD) already contracted and up to $6 billion (USD) in expected manufacturing orders over the life of the program.

“It’s fitting that in the year Australia commemorates 100 years of military aviation, we also mark the arrival of the most advanced fighter ever developed,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin chairman, president and CEO. “The F-35 Lightning II will lay the foundation for the next century of Australia’s military air power.”

The aircraft, known as AU-1 and AU-2, are scheduled to undergo functional fuel system checks before being transported to the flight line for ground and flight tests in the coming months. The jets are scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force later this year, and will be based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where they will be used for Australian and partner country pilot training.

The F-35 Lightning II is the world’s most advanced military aircraft and for over a decade, the U.S. and our allies have invested in developing this fifth-generation, international, multirole fighter aircraft that will serve as a cornerstone of global security in the 21st century.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

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Check Point expands its data centre security leadership with new 13800 and 21800 Gateways

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by


CheckPoint Logo

Blazing-fast gateways deliver best-in-class performance and superior multi-layer security

Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., the worldwide leader in securing the Internet, recently announced the launch of two new security gateways that extend the company’s best-in-class data centre network security portfolio. The new 13800 Appliance extends the 13000 line while the 21800 augments the 21000 Appliance family.

Today’s data centres and enterprises demand high network performance and have growing needs for more bandwidth. They also require dynamic, multi-layer security to protect against new and evolving threats and attacks. The 13800 offers industry-leading security protections and advanced performance, with up to 3,800 SecurityPower™ units (SPU) and 6.5 Gbps of real-life IPS throughput. The 21800 Appliance delivers up to 4,300 SPU and 7 Gbps of real-life IPS throughput, supplies the low latency required by the most demanding network environments, and provides high reliability and serviceability to minimise maintenance costs.

“At Check Point, we aim to offer both the best data centre security protections while continuously raising the performance bar,” said Kurt Hansen, managing director, Check Point Australia and New Zealand. “The 13800 and 21800 Appliances deliver the power, extensibility and performance needed by demanding data centre environments, while providing the highest level of security through our industry-leading next-generation security solutions.”

As part of Check Point’s data centre security gateway offerings, the 13800 and 21800 Appliances deliver Check Point’s multi-layer security protection, with four pre-defined security packages including Next Generation Firewall, Threat Prevention, Data Protection and Secure Web Gateway, consolidating more security protection per appliance.

Features of the Check Point 13800 Appliance include:

  • Performance of up to 3,800 SPU and 6.5 Gbps of real-life IPS throughput.
  • Scalable connectivity with up to 26 – 1GbE ports or 12 – 10GbE ports.

Features of the Check Point 21800 Appliance include:

  • Performance of up to 4,300 SPU and 7 Gbps of real-life IPS throughput.
  • Includes a Security Acceleration Module (SAM) option, boosting firewall performance up to 110 Gbps and minimising firewall latency to sub 5µs
  • Scalable connectivity with up to 37 – 1GbE ports or 13 – 10GbE ports.

For more information on product functionality and specifications, please visit: and

Pricing and availability:

Starting at US$99,000 and US$135,000 respectively, the 13800 and the 21800 Appliances are available immediately from our worldwide partners:

Follow Check Point via:




About Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (, the worldwide leader in securing the Internet, provides customers with uncompromised protection against all types of threats, reduces security complexity and lowers total cost of ownership. Check Point first pioneered the industry with FireWall-1 and its patented stateful inspection technology. Today, Check Point continues to develop new innovations based on the Software Blade Architecture, providing customers with flexible and simple solutions that can be fully customised to meet the exact security needs of any organisation. Check Point is the only vendor to go beyond technology and define security as a business process. Check Point 3D Security uniquely combines policy, people and enforcement for greater protection of information assets and helps organisations implement a blueprint for security that aligns with business needs. Customers include tens of thousands of organisations of all sizes, including all Fortune and Global 100 companies. Check Point’s award-winning ZoneAlarm solutions protect millions of consumers from hackers, spyware and identity theft.

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NEWS: Fortinet: First to Deliver 1 Terabit Per Second Firewall Throughput

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by


Fortinet Logo

Industry Breakthrough Safeguards Carriers and Enterprise Data Centers with World’s Fastest Firewall

Fortinet, a global leader in high-performance network security, has redefined the standard for firewall performance by being the first network security vendor to deliver a firewall – the new FortiGate 5144C – that exceeds 1 terabit per second (Tbps) throughput performance and offers 10GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE connectivity options. This firmly positions the FortiGate 5144C as the world’s fastest firewall, making it the ideal security solution for carriers, service providers and large-scale enterprises who have the most demanding performance and scalability requirements for network security, and who want unparalleled versatility and flexibility in delivering high performance data, application and network protection to their customers and users.

“Major market drivers, such as big data, cloud-based services and the explosion of Software as a Service translates to data centers needing exceptionally fast and secure security platforms to protect their applications and data,” said Ken Xie, founder and CEO of Fortinet. “Others have claimed to have the fastest firewall, but no other vendor has actually delivered this level of performance and security, which enables customers to build out their data centers for the future, knowing that their firewalls will not be a choke point.”

FortiGate 5000 Series – Setting the Standard for High Performance Security via NP6 ASICs
The new FortiGate 5000 Series is Fortinet’s flagship, chassis and blade firewall platform.  Built for large scale enterprise data center and carrier-class environments, the FortiGate 5000 series includes fully redundant, hot-swappable power supplies, fans and firewall blades for maximum uptime.

The new 5000 Series is comprised of a new chassis – the FortiGate 5144C, new controller networking blades (5903C/5913C) and new security blades (5001D) that utilize the latest NP6 network processor to deliver 40 Gbps firewall throughput per ASIC.  Unlike common, off-the-shelf processors used by other vendors, the NP6 ASIC is a revolutionary, low-power design that produces unparalleled firewall throughput (40Gbps) as well as 2-3microsecond latency.  Coupled with native IPv4 and IPv6 traffic processing, the NP6 is ideally suited for next-generation networks. By running fourteen 5001D security blades concurrently, today’s 5000 Series delivers more than 1 Tbps firewall throughput.

The new 5000 Series leverages the same high-performance hardware architecture, NP6 ASICs and FortiOS that power the award-winning enterprise FortiGate 1000 and 3000 security appliances that protect data centers and enterprise users.  This provides unparalleled deployment flexibility, security functionality and policy enforcement.

“The industry is facing a massive change as businesses and consumers demand applications and services to be delivered instantly.  Just as important is the fact that security must play an active role in this new paradigm of delivering X as a service,” said Chris Rodriguez, senior industry analyst, network security at Frost & Sullivan.  “By delivering firewall performance at the one terabit per second threshold, Fortinet helps ensure new services can be added into the future and delivered without sacrificing security or performance.”

FortiGate 5001D Blades – State of the Art Security in a Blade Design
The new 5001D security blades provide the core security capabilities to the new 5000 Series. These represent the 5th generation process boards that can process 100 Gbps throughput.  Each 5001D blade embeds two FortiASIC NP6 processors.  This provides full next-generation firewall capabilities, including: deep packet inspection, IPS, application control, web content filtering and more.  In addition, because of Fortinet’s unique VDOM technology, multiple virtual instances can run concomitantly, giving MSSPs and carriers the ability to offer thousands of dedicated NGFW capabilities to their customers.

“Operating one of the largest end-to-end communications network in the United States requires high performance and strong security,” said Mike Perusse, CTO of MegaPath, a nationwide provider of voice, data, security and cloud services.  “Fortinet is an undeniable leader of high performance network security, and their new 5000 Series stands to be a breakthrough in helping to secure the delivery of next-generation services, today.”

New FortiController to Provide 100 Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity
For datacenters or telecom environments that require 100 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, Fortinet presents the new FortiController-5913C controller blade.  The FortiController-5913C is an Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) compliant session-aware load balancing hub/switch that distributes traffic to a maximum of 14 FortiGate-5001D blades within the new 5000-series chassis fabric backplane.  This provides unparalleled performance and eliminates any potential bottlenecks as datacenters re-architect their network topology to 100 GbE.  The FortiController-5913C will be available in Q4.  For environments that only need 40 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, customers can use the FortiController-5903C Controller, which is available now.

The new FortiGate 5000 Series – complete with the new 5144C Chassis, 5903C Controller and 5001D security blades are available this quarter from authorized Fortinet channel partners.  For more information about FortiGate products, please visit:, or view the new FortiGate online demo at:

About Fortinet
Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) helps protect networks, users and data from continually evolving threats.  As a global leader in high-performance network security, we enable businesses and governments to consolidate and integrate stand-alone technologies without suffering performance penalties.  Unlike costly, inflexible and low-performance alternatives, Fortinet solutions empower customers to embrace new technologies and business opportunities while protecting essential systems and content.  Learn more at

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RSA® Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2014 sees record attendance doubling over last year.

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by


RSA Conference 2014 Banner

The second edition of the RSA Conference also features the inaugural RSA® Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2014 Innovation Sandbox Program

The RSA® Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2014 returned to the Marina Bay Sands for its second edition in Singapore, from 22 to 23 July 2014. There were over 3,200 registrations from countries across the Asia Pacific region. The Conference featured approximately 65 sessions spanning the following five tracks, Cloud and Data Security, Cybercrime and Law Enforcement, Mobile Security, Security Infrastructure and Threats and Risk Management

Sessions in Mandarin and Japanese were also offered for the very first time. The Conference also saw more than 70 exhibitors and sponsors, such as f5, Blue Coat, M.Tech, Cisco, RSA and Akamai. They demonstrated and showcased the latest technology architecture to secure, protect and mitigate risks for enterprises

Key highlights of the Conference included the Opening Keynote speech by RSA Executive Chairman Art Coviello, who addressed the security implications of today’s digitally interdependent world. Mr Coviello emphasized that society’s digital interdependence now requires new “norms of behavior”, more effective security measures and greater cooperation.

The Closing Keynote speech was given by David Walsh, the journalist known for investigating Lance Armstrong and exposing the illegal use of drugs in professional cycling. David spoke about the importance of truth in today’s world, and his experience in bringing down Lance Armstrong.

This year’s conference also featured the inaugural RSA® Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2014 Innovation Sandbox Program, which named Singaporean based start-up Digify, as the winner of the “Most Innovative Company”.

The RSA® Conference 2015 will take place 20 – 24 April 2015, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and the RSA® Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2015 will take place 22-24 July 2015, at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore.

Vincent Goh, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan at RSA said“RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan continues to be the gathering place for industry leaders in information security. The record number of attendees at this year’s conference is a testament to the strength of the content and speakers at the conference. The Asia Pacific region continues to grapple with our own unique set of security threats and we look forward to the future editions of RSA Asia Pacific & Japan Conference as the collaboration and innovation platform for leading security companies and talents in this region.”

Vic Mankotia, Vice President, Solution Strategy, Asia Pacific & Japan, CA Technologies said “The topics shared at the conference were very refreshing. They truly revolved around the IT of tomorrow and not just traditional enterprise security. The many discussions about the open enterprise in an ever connected world of cloud, social and mobile show that there is a pressing need for security solutions that go beyond protecting the old network perimeter.It is vital that enterprises ensure that the right people have the right access to the right information on the right device and application.”

Stephen Dane, Cisco Security Business Group Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Japan said”We were delighted to take part in RSA Conference 2014,” said Stephen Dane, Cisco Security Business Group Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Japan. “Our global CTO and regional security team have held productive discussions with key analysts, media, partners, and of course, our customers from around Asia Pacific. The keynote presentation, track sessions and demos that Cisco hosted helped amplify the message that we think is so crucial to security professionals today, that of the need for a new security model that addresses the full attack continuum, before, during and after an attack.”

Kevin Kennedy, Senior Director of Product Management, Juniper Networks “The future of security is at a crossroads. Sharing ideas and best practices is critical to driving the innovation that we need to better defend against increasingly advanced cyberattacks. RSA Conference continues to deliver fresh ideas to connect and share new approaches to security, and it’s motivating to see the growing energy and success of this event in APAC.”

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A Moral Edge

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by


Photo 1

The Israeli Air Force headquarters during Operation Protective Edge
Published courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

“This is the Israeli army calling. Am I speaking to Bassem?” The officer spoke Arabic slowly and clearly, using an impeccable Gaza dialect. “Yes,” came the answer. “Listen to me carefully, Bassem. You have five minutes to evacuate your house because we are going to bomb it. Do you understand?”

The caller was assertive, not aggressive, and his voice was empathetic, even compassionate. I asked him later about this and he answered: “They are human beings. My job is to do everything I can to save them.”

We watched real time imagery of the house, as people exited. “Count them. Each and every one of them,” the commander ordered, a tense expression on his face. “Are they all out?” Someone gave the number and confirmed that the procedure had been completed, but a Major said: “Let’s verify this again. If we can save even one person, it’s worth it.”

I spent a long night in the “Knock-on-the-roof” cell, where targets were being attacked after a meticulous process of verification aimed at getting uninvolved civilians out of harm’s way, including phone calls, and warning shots to the roof, before dropping the bomb.

Photo: Amit Bar Yosef

During Operation Protective Edge, I visited the operational nerve center of the Air Force. My objective was to discover the organizational culture, the operational atmosphere and the spirit of the airmen. As a reserve lieutenant-colonel, I received official approval, on condition that I strictly follow operational security regulations and comply with requested omissions. Naturally, not all of my experiences can, or ever will be, revealed, but those described are true and accurate.

There was no parking space when I arrived. The building was packed with people, most of them reservists. Contrary to other military units, all wore blue “Class A” uniforms. What first struck me was how impeccably dressed everyone was. Even reservists looked sharp, making it hard to differentiate between them and career officers. Those who are familiar with the IDF understand that this is unique. The resulting effect was an appearance of prestige and professionalism.

I had spent the better part of the 1990s in this place. There were handshakes and slaps on the back as I entered. I knew so many people, it felt like coming home. Continuity of personnel and accumulated knowledge and experience are important assets of any military unit.
The IAF is a relatively centralistic organization. The operational headquarters is a powerful mechanism intended to analyze and assess the situation, fuse information, plan operations, disseminate operational orders to the squadrons, and monitor the execution of the missions from designated control cells.

Photo: IAF / Hagar Amibar

Mission-oriented cells operate simultaneously, enabling each one to focus on its own mission-related characteristics and sensitivities. Together, the IAF supplies the ultimate mechanism for massive outputs of streamlined operations.

If passing security and entering the underground facility feels like entering a shrine, entering the control cells is like entering an inner sanctum. The place was humming with dozens of professionals working in sync. The walls were covered with high resolution screens showing a multidimensional picture of the battle space. From intelligence and operational pictures, to data links from unmanned Aerial Systems and logistics, the abundance of information was overwhelming.

It is a known phenomenon that inside operational units, there is humor that would sound heartless to outsiders. I had prepared myself for this, but to my amazement, I witnessed nothing but reserved and restrained conduct. I could also sense a touch of modesty which I had not seen in the past. It seemed as if the organization had matured. I could tell that the focus was on the mission, not on personal ego.

Frankly, I feared that I may find a bunch of trigger-happy officers, but there was no sign of it. When a bomb hit its target, I could see relief, pride and satisfaction, and no cheering or gloating. Everything about the place demonstrated severity and professional conduct.
What I saw was an implementation of the book of Proverbs 24, 17: “Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.”

Photo 3

Photo: Amit Bar Yosef

I remember that back in the 1990s, Hezbollah fighters were sometimes referred to by a nickname which implied contempt. Not anymore. Hamas terrorists are referred to as well equipped, well trained, serious, professional and challenging rivals.

I was stunned when I saw the crowded air picture. I asked a senior air controller how they could safely manage so many aircrafts in such a small airspace. He showed me a colored chart, dividing the sky into “blocks” ranging from low flying helicopters to high altitude strategic assets. “That’s a lot of airpower,” I remarked. “You bet,” he smiled, proudly.

Operation Protective Edge is led by the Southern Command. The Air Force headquarters in Tel Aviv is connected to Southern Command via an embedded liaison team which works in full collaboration with its “green” (ground forces) partners. The integration is superb – the product of many years of combined operations, training and implementation of lessons- learned.

I attended a planning session, where a target was processed before attack. The level of detail, and amount of time and attention invested in one target was above and beyond what I had expected. Operational research engineers were consulted as to “adjusting armament to target,” as there are multiple options to choose from. Every aspect is scientifically analyzed – from the direction from which to approach and angle of penetration, to the precise point of impact and how many milliseconds of delayed detonation to set in order to ensure destruction of the target and minimize collateral damage. The various armaments allow for pinpoint targeting …read more

Source: A Moral Edge