Radware – Cyber Soldiers

November 27, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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When hackers attack the world’s largest companies, Israeli hi-tech company Radware is on 24/7 standby to mount a defence. Its president Roy Zisapel has been visiting Australia.

Roy Zisapel

At a breakfast in Sydney organised by the Israeli Trade Commission, Zisapel spoke to industry and banking leaders about Radware’s new application technology and then delved deep into the darkest regions of the Cyberworld illustrating how his company defends world giants in commerce against sophisticated hackers.

Zisapel said that Radware has over 10,000 customers around the globe and that 98% of its business is export. The company’s clients include AT&T, Verizon, the New York Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and “hundreds of banks across the world”.

The first half of his presentation was to introduce Radware’s world-leading technology designed to deliver applications securely and swiftly for very large companies providing major time and financial savings.

Radware’s technology will mean more applications being able to work on smartphones and the speed of downloads will increase dramatically and will handle more than five times the number of applications.

Zisapel turned his focus to the Internet security front saying that almost every week you read of of company’s sites going down as a result of attacks by hackers. He said that, in spite of the huge budgets being spent on security by governments and large companies, “every week, something goes wrong”. Questioning why the attacks are successful in spite of the budget spent. He listed among the victims the U.S. Federal Reserve, WordPress, Mastercard and Visa. He said the 77 million gamers using Sony’s Playstation were the victims of an attack last year in which all the identities were stolen with the site is yet to be restored. He said that the attackers hit more than one vector comparing it to a real war. Zisapel said: “In a real war, you send in the planes, the artillery and the ground troops. It’s the same in a Cyber war. They will hit three different sectors.”

He spoke about the Anonymous group reaction to the U.S. Government’s decision to stop funding the Wikileaks organisation by blocking the usage of Visa, Mastercard and Paypal in an attempt to cripple the cables leaking organisation. Anonymous in turn set about bringing down the three financial conduit sites, saying it was ahgainst freedom of speech because they adhered to the US Government’s request.

Zisapel detailed how the Wikileak supporters brought down Visa and Mastercard and attempted to bring down Paypal. Using Facebook, they circulated a message saying that if users disagreed with the US Government’s decision and wish to protest ‘press here’ and that downloaded an attack tool to the user’s computer which looked like an iphone application. All the user had to do was enter the URL of the financial institution and the attack was launched.  Zisapel said that Mastercard and Visa got 60,000 of these attacks per second! He said: “These attacks therefore did not come from hackers…they came from regular users…so many of the attacks came from real users of Mastercard and Visa.”

As an example, Zisapel said: “Let’s imagine Citibank has raised the commission rate and we are very angry and want to bring the site down. We can send a similar message and generate 60,000 new logins per second, and they can be made up names. The computers have to check if each one is a real user and probably they cannot deal with the volume of traffic”. That is 200 million attempts to connect in an hour.

All with no bank account, no user name.

Zisapel showed how Radware uses tools to prevent and to block the attacks. He said that many clients had staff with a lot of knowledge of how to use the tools but had never experienced an attack before. He said it was the same as a combat pilot who had had no experience. It was a very different case when he had flown combat missions.

Radware deploys its ERT Emergency Response Team to assist its clients counter any attacks…a team available 24/7 and which deals with around 30 attacks each month.

The team usually shows results within a few minutes and brings attack down within an hour.

He spoke about gambling sites getting cyber-blackmail threats. As an example he said imagine Manchester United is about to play a match. Most of the gambling happens an hour before the match begins. The site operators get a message from hackers demanding money or they will bring the site down.

A side issue of our technology Radware we can watch the hacker at work and can identify him or her as they record their activity. There have been many arrests.

Zisapel is 40 and recently married. He told J-Wire: “In the IDF, I was a member of the 8200 Intelligence Unit. This unit has produced presidents and CEOs of many of Israel’s leading hi-tech companies. Radware employs 760 people and its headquarters are in Tel Aviv. Founded in 1997, the company has being doing business in Australia since 2000 and has been listed on NASDAQ for 12 years.





One Response to “Radware – Cyber Soldiers”
  1. Mobile Sugar says:

    I would have liked to see some additional information on HOW the product works and specifically how Radware protects mobile devices, but overall a good read.

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