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Israeli firm BioCatch surpasses 150 million anonymous behavioral profiles

Israeli firm BioCatch surpasses 150 million anonymous behavioral profiles

CYBERTECH


The firm says it possesses the largest set of behavioral profiles worldwide to eliminate online fraud

BioCatch / (photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel cybersecurity firm BioCatch, a leader in behavioral biometrics announced this past week that it now has a compilation of privacy-protected digital behavioral profiles of more than 150 million individual online banking users, largely through its deployment at more than 40 major global banks and other financial institutions worldwide.

As such, the firm analyzes more than one billion digital sessions per month in real-time for potential fraud and other types of cybercrime to protect online users and their assets.

According to the company, cybercrime has accelerated dramatically as a result of the coronavirus, as fraudsters have sought to take advantage of distracted individuals working from home or dispersed companies whose technologists have been scattered in remote locations.

Through the continuous authentication of online sessions, behavioral biometrics flags physical and cognitive device interactions that present potential risk, the company is able to collect data without collecting personally identifiable information (PII).

The firm uses this to address some of the most pressing digital identity challenges that exist today, including detecting the use of stolen or synthetic identities at the onboarding stage, recognizing account takeovers and flagging increasingly sophisticated social engineering scams.

“Online authentication methods have to change, especially in light of the increased security risk inherent in remote access,” said BioCatch Chairman and CEO Howard Edelstein. “With behavioral biometrics, we passively monitor digital sessions from start-to-finish, eliminating friction for online banking users and keeping their assets safe from the rising tide of cybercrime. We’ve reached 150 million user profiles because we’ve been collecting digital data for almost a decade, far longer than anyone else. That’s why we can detect anomalies faster and with more accuracy than anyone else, even without collecting any PII.”

Last month BioCatch raised $145 million in a Series C investment led by Bain Capital’s Tech Opportunities fund, the growth investing business of Bain Capital. Also joining the round were American Express Ventures, CreditEase, Maverick Ventures and Our Crowd, among others.


Read more from Cybertech News: https://www.israeldefense.co.il/en/categories/cybertech


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Coronavirus committee to rule on gyms, pools on Monday

Coronavirus committee to rule on gyms, pools on Monday

MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN


35 people infected in gyms since June * Buses to run after 10 p.m. * Death toll spikes to 362.

Border Police go about coronavirus inspections in Mea Shearim, a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem. / (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Knesset coronavirus committee meeting is expected to once and for all vote on Monday whether or not to reopen gyms and public pools after a heated debate Sunday and on the backdrop of yet another spike in cases.

Some 1,151 people tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday, the Health Ministry reported on Sunday, and more than 1,300 on Friday. There were another 646 people diagnosed on Sunday between midnight and press time.

On Saturday, only 20,294 people were screened, meaning that the percentage of people who tested positive increased to around 6%, a percentage that Dr. Emilia Ennis, director of the Department of Epidemiology at the Health Ministry, called, “worrisome” during her presentation at the committee meeting.

When comparing early July data to April data, Israel’s most difficult month in the fight against coronavirus, so far, she showed, the number of patients infected is trending to be higher than the final number in April. However, the discrepancy could be due to the number of tests being done.

On Sunday evening there were 151 people in serious condition, including 47 who were intubated. Some 362 people have died in Israel from the virus.

Despite the high numbers, buses are expected to resume running past 10 p.m. on Monday, Transportation Minister Miri Regev said, revoking a decision that went into effect only a few days prior.

“I came here immediately after the government meeting to take a close look at the bus operation,” Transportation Minister Miri Regev said Sunday in a statement that was disseminated by video, “and I see that things are going well… I made a decision: starting tomorrow, buses will run even after 10 p.m.”

At the same time, Interior Minister Arye Deri convinced the cabinet that the Health Ministry should be required to publish its “red zone” criteria ahead of designating any new neighborhoods as such. The move came after push back from the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community that decisions were made to discriminate against their community.

During the Knesset coronavirus committee meeting, it was revealed that some 170 cases of infection originated since June from weddings, 35 from gyms, 21 from restaurants and six from bars.
Ennis, however, said that “in most cases the source of infection is difficult to identify.”

She said in as many as one-third of cases, the source of infection is unknown. However, a Health Ministry report that came out soon after her presentation indicated that this number was even higher, perhaps as high as 58%.

The Health Ministry showed that from the beginning of the pandemic until July 6 there were 30,162 people infected with coronavirus, but only 21,562 for which the ministry made efforts to track the origin of their infection. The ministry was unable to determine how 12,581 (58%) of those patients were infected.

Of the 8,981 (42%) that they could track, the most common places for people to contract the virus are: at home ( approximately 65.8%), educational institutions (10.3%), medical institutions (5.8%), events or conferences (3.95%), synagogues (2.2%), shopping centers or stores (2%), or at recreational locations (1.8%). Another 8.2% were not exposed to any of these places but came in contact with a sick person at an unknown location.

Ennis told the committee that the conditions at gyms and pools lend themselves to increased infection and that is why the Health Ministry advised the government to shut them down. Among the conditions at gyms: close quarters, heat, humidity, breathing more and more deeply and touching the surfaces of shared equipment. Among the conditions at pools: No mask wearing, crowding and difficulty in observing the rules of hygiene.

“It is imperative to find the delicate balance between maintaining public health and the duty to maintain people’s livelihoods,” said Knesset coronavirus committee chairwoman Yifat Shasha-Biton at the start of the session. “We must understand what underlies every decision – understand the logic behind these decisions. The issue of social distancing and the observance of Health Ministry guidelines are critical to preventing an outbreak, but also to allowing the economy to function.”

“We have no magic solution,” Health Ministry deputy director-general Itamar Grotto said at a previous meeting earlier in the day.

In her presentation, Ennis showed that there is an increase in the number of difficult patients.

According to the Health Ministry, there was no change in the criteria for who is considered a serious patient, despite reports by the Hebrew media outlet N12 to the contrary.

The Health Ministry released a backgrounder on Sunday detailing this criterion, as defined by the World Health Organization. Those with mild symptoms have a low fever, cough, weakness and potentially a loss of taste or smell. Those with moderate symptoms have been diagnosed via a clinical or X-ray with “COVID-19 pneumonia.” Serious patients, as suffering from dyspnea (a respiratory rate of 30 or more breaths per minute), have a blood oxygen saturation of 93% or less, a ratio of the partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2:FiO2) of less than 300 mm Hg.

“If the upward trend in the number of serious patients continues, then the number of these will exceed the number in the first wave,” she continued. “Two days ago, there were 35 new serious patients added in one day, which is more than the peak day in the first wave – 29 new serious patients in a day.”

“It is our job to stop the outbreaks before they start,” Ennis said, “After there is already an outbreak, it is very difficult to stop the spread.”


Gil Hoffman and Tamar Beeri contributed to this report.


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News From Israel – July 12, 2020

News From Israel – July 12, 2020

  ILTV Israel News




The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive – Silence is Killing

The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive – Silence is Killing

Hebrew University of Jerusalem    Hebrew University of Jerusalem




Abstract: Interviews with widows of Jews executed in Arab countries, illustrating Jewish life there in the 1960s.

The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive –
The 500 films, selected for the virtual cinema, reflect the vast scope of documentary material collected in the Spielberg Archive. The films range from 1911 to the present and include home movies, short films and full length features.

שם: השתיקה הורגת
שנה: 1974
אורך: 00:18:40
שפה: אנגלית

תקציר: ראיונות עם אלמנותיהם של יהודים שהוצאו להורג במדינות ערב, המתארות את החיים היהודיים שם במהלך שנות הששים.

ארכיון הסרטים היהודיים על שם סטיבן שפילברג –
חמש מאות הסרטים שנבחרו עבור הקולנוע הווירטואלי משקפים את ההיקף הנרחב של החומר התיעודי בארכיון שפילברג. באתר ישנם סרטים משנת 1911 ועד ימינו אלה ביתיים, קצרים ובאורך מלא.

כל הזכויות שמורות לארכיון הסרטים היהודיים על שם סטיבן שפילברג ולאוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים 2010; דף הבית; www.spielbergfilmarchive.org.il
http://multimedia.huji.ac.il


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Is Freedom of Speech a thing of past?

Is Freedom of Speech a thing of past?

Is Freedom of Speech a thing of past?


Photo from:https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aron_Flam

Recent events in a rich European Country, Sweden have risen to a question of how strongly a liberal society is moving towards rise of communism or totalitarians. There have been a few events, two of them makes the author wonder if there is a tendency towards extreme socialism;

  1. Aron Flam is a Swedish stand-up comedian, screenwriter, author, television host, podcaster, and actor. He is of Jewish origin and has spoken frequently on this in his stand-up comedy routines. He has recently published a book “This is a Swedish Tiger “. The book takes as it’s starting point the Swedish wartime propaganda slogan “A Swedish tiger,” which is a play on words – “tiger” in Swedish can mean the animal, but is also the present tense of the verb “to keep silent,” meaning that the slogan can also be read “a Swede keeps silent.”. The author explains that the “book reveals how Sweden’s social democrats managed to not only escape blame for its cooperation with Hitler’s Germany during the war. But also, how they got away with the gold, re-established contacts with other former allies of the Nazi’s, and silently rebuilt the world to suit their ends.”. The entire stock of the latest edition of the book was seized by prosecutor in Stockholm in the police raid, from the offices of the publisher Samizdat. In total some 2,200 books were seized, amounting to nearly 1.5 tonnes of printed material. The prosecutor claims the book is in infringement of copy right. This has been disputed by the author. Extractions from The Jerusalem Post. What does this really show? Sweden, a promoter of freedom of expression and human rights, who annually issues several declarations against violation of freedom of expression and human rights for other countries, and is one of its own critics of censorship and anti-freedom of expression. How is it possible to be both for and against of freedom of expression? According to many fans of this book and its author, this is a move against human rights and freedom of expression. A country that violates freedom of expression, does not have the authority to designate and issue a freedom of expression statement for other countries.
  2. On the other hand, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Linde, a feminist and Social Democrat strongly criticized Israel and continually preaching against Israel. She emphasised that The European Union’s response to Israel’s accession plans has been strong. But she does not want to address what the EU’s actions may be related to. The criticism has been met with mixed political reactions from Israel’s ambassador to Sweden and a number of high-ranking Swedish politicians. The question is why Ms. Anna Linde, when the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with its proxy forces, provided financial and missile assistance to the terrorist groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, her political and feminist sentiments were not hurt and did not raise the issue in the EU?

picture from : https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/sweden-rivals-iran-in-violating-human-rights/

Just using these two events, it illustrates we are on a slippery slope, in a so-called liberal democracy society like Sweden. At this juncture of time and place we are gradually being dragged into a totalitarian society, whilst we think we are in a liberal democracy. Are there forces pushing our western society and values towards an extreme socialism / communism, without realising. Are we living in a world the anti-Semitism becoming a norm and politicians scoring points by populist criticism of state of Israel with or without any bases and logic? We in a free society need to question our politicians and some of the far-left media, which hold a lot of power with a sinister agenda. Freedom of speech is a right to any citizen of free world.


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