WHITNEY WEBB: “Cybereason — A Front For Israeli Military Intelligence — Announces New Plans To ‘Accelerate’ Access To U.S. Gov Networks Before 2020 Election”

“A cybersecurity firm tied to Israeli intelligence’s Unit 8200 that simulated a series of terrorist attacks occurring on the U.S. 2020 election has announced a new hire with deep ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities with the goal of gaining greater access to U.S. government networks. Notably, Cybereason stood to gain nothing financially from the simulations given that their software could not have prevented the attacks waged against the U.S.’ electoral infrastructure in the exercise and the company framed their hosting of the simulations as merely ‘altruistic’ because of their professed desire to help ‘protect’ U.S. election infrastructure. The attacks conducted in the simulations by Cybereason employees included creating power grid blackouts, the use of deep fakes to sow confusion, creating havoc with municipal sewage systems and crashing self-driving cars into voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, killing 32 and injuring over a hundred people. While these narratives have asserted that China, Russia and/or Iran will be to blame for such attacks, it is worth noting that a tight-knit web of Israeli state-owned and private companies tied to Israeli military intelligence now run the software controlling key parts of the power grid in New York, California and elsewhere in the U.S.; are the main global producers of deep fakes; and the main providers of ‘ security’ software for self-driving and semi-self-driving cars, the quantity of which on U.S. streets has grown dramatically as a result of the coronavirus crisis.”

~Whitney Webb

A cybersecurity company tied to Israeli intelligence and a series of unnerving simulations regarding cyber-terrorist attacks on the upcoming U.S. elections has recently announced a new hire who plans to aid the company in further penetrating the U.S. public sector. Last Wednesday, the company Cybereason announced that it had hired Andrew Borene as its Managing Director for its recently launched U.S. public sector business. Borene, who boasts longstanding ties to the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon, “will accelerate Cybereason’s partner and customer presence in the U.S. public sector,” according to a Cybereason press release.

“My goal is to build a strong business for Cybereason within the U.S. public sector and I am planning to recruit a group of direct support executives, veterans and alumni of the elite U.S. military units and agencies that have defended our nation in the information age. I’ll also work to establish a network of the best channel and delivery partners for federal, state and local governments,” Borene said per the press release.

Eric Appel, Cybereason’s General Manager for North American Sales, stated that “We’re excited about Andrew joining Cybereason and the opportunity in the U.S. public sector for Cybereason to make a profound impact on helping the nation’s federal civilian, military, state and local government agencies…”

Borene will likely be successful in his ability to recruit a sales team of prominent alumni from the U.S. intelligence and defense communities to market Cybereason’s products throughout the U.S. government. Prior to joining Cybereason, Borene was a senior advisor to the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the intelligence community’s “DARPA” equivalent that is housed within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He served in that capacity on behalf of intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to that, Borene served as Associate Deputy General Counsel to the Pentagon and was previously a military intelligence officer for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Borene’s private sector experience is also significant, as he was a senior executive at IBM. Notably, the current Chief Information Officer for the CIA, Juliane Gallina, had served alongside Borene as a top IBM executive prior to taking her current position at the agency. In addition, Borene also boasts ties to Wall Street as a veteran of Wells Fargo’s investment banking division.

In addition, Borene has deep ties to Washington’s foreign policy establishment as a “life member” of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and to the national security-think tank nexus through his senior fellowship at the National Security Institute (NSI). NSI’s board includes former NSA directors, Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden (also a former CIA director); former Deputy Defense Secretary and “architect” of the Iraq War, Paul Wolfowitz; former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, David Shedd; and a variety of other former top intelligence and defense officials as well as Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists.

Notably, Borene is the latest addition to Cybereason with ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities as the company’s advisors include Robert Bigman, former Chief Information Security Officer for the CIA as well as Peter Sherlock, the former Chief Operating Officer of MITRE corporation, a major intelligence and defense contractor connected to the Ptech-9/11 controversy.

Cybereason: A Front for Israeli Military Intelligence

Cybereason’s announcement of its hire of Andrew Borene coincided with its launch of its new “U.S. public sector business,” meaning that Cybereason now seeks to have its cybersecurity software running on even more of the U.S. government’s most classified networks. Cybereason, for years, has already been running on several sensitive U.S. government networks through its partnerships with IT contractors for intelligence and defense, such as Lockheed Martin (also a Cybereason investor), WWT and Leidos. However, Borene’s hire and this new publicly announced pivot towards the U.S. public sector clearly demonstrates the company’s interest in further deepening its presence on U.S. government networks.

Cybereason’s pivot is concerning for several reasons. First, its co-founders are alumni of Israel’s Unit 8200, an elite unit of the Israeli Intelligence corps that is part of the IDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence and is involved mainly in signal intelligence, surveillance, cyberwarfare and code decryption. It is also well-known for its surveillance of Palestinian civilians and for using intercepted communications as blackmail in order to procure informants among Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank.

In addition, all three Cybereason co-founders, after leaving Unit 8200, went on to work for two private Israel-based tech/telecom companies with a notorious history of aggressive espionage against the U.S. government: Amdocs and Comverse Infosys (the latter is now known as Verint Systems Inc.). This raises the possibility that Cybereason software could potentially be used as a backdoor by unauthorized actors, given that the company’s co-founders all previously worked for firms that have a history of placing backdoors into U.S. telecommunications and electronic infrastructure as well as aggressively spying on U.S. federal agencies.

Also notable is the fact that the company’s current CEO and co-founder Lior Div was much more than the average Unit 8200 officer during his time in the unit, as he “served as a commander in Unit 8200 and carried out some of the world’s largest cyber offensive campaigns against nations and cybercrime groups. For his achievements, he received the Medal of Honor, the highest honor bestowed upon Unit 8200 members,” according to his biography. Troublingly, in an interview that Div gave to TechCrunch last year, Div stated that his work at Cybereason is “the continuation of the six years of training and service he spent working with the Israeli army’s 8200 Unit.”

This is particularly noteworthy given that Israel’s government has openly admitted that an ongoing intelligence operation, first initiated in 2012 — the year Cybereason was founded, involves Israeli military intelligence and intelligence operations that had previously done “in house” (i.e. as part of Unit 8200, Mossad, etc.) being spun off into private companies, specifically start-ups in the “cyber” realm.

This operation is part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “deliberate policy” to have former members of Israel’s “military and intelligence units merge into companies with local partners and foreign partners” in order to make it all but impossible for major corporations and foreign governments to boycott Israel and to also to ensure that Israel becomes the world’s dominant “cyber power.”

One notable report on this policy, published by Israeli outlet Calcalist Tech, interviewed dozens of Israeli military, intelligence and government officials and noted that “since 2012, cyber-related and intelligence projects that were previously carried out in-house in the Israeli military and Israel’s main intelligence arms are transferred to companies that in some cases were built for this exact purpose.” The article also states that beginning in 2012, Israel’s intelligence and military intelligence agencies began to outsource “activities that were previously managed in-house, with a focus on software and cyber technologies.”

“Simulating” the Cancellation of the 2020 Election

In light of Cybereason’s background and the “acceleration” of their presence on U.S. government networks, the timing of their redoubled efforts to court the U.S. public sector add additional layers of concern given that it precedes the U.S. 2020 election by a matter of months. Since last year, Cybereason has conducted multiple simulations focused on the 2020 election, which were attended by federal officials from the FBI, DHS and the U.S. Secret Service and all of which ended in disaster. In those simulations, the 2020 election was ultimately canceled and martial law was then declared due to the chaos created by a group of hackers led by Cybereason employees.

Notably, Cybereason stood to gain nothing financially from the simulations given that their software could not have prevented the attacks waged against the U.S.’ electoral infrastructure in the exercise and the company framed their hosting of the simulations as merely “altruistic” because of their professed desire to help “protect” U.S. election infrastructure. The attacks conducted in the simulations by Cybereason employees included creating power grid blackouts, the use of deep fakes to sow confusion, creating havoc with municipal sewage systems and crashing self-driving cars into voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, killing 32 and injuring over a hundred people.

In the months since I first wrote about Cybereason and their 2020 “doomsday” simulations back in January, U.S. government officials and mass media alike have been warning that these same types of attacks that Cybereason simulated are likely to come to pass on this upcoming election day, scheduled for November 3rd of this year. More recently, in less than a week, headlines like “Election Security Experts Expect ‘Chaos’ Unless Action Taken,” “New York’s Pandemic Voting ‘Chaos’ Set to Go Nationwide in November,” and “Foreign adversaries ‘seeking to compromise’ presidential campaigns, intel warns,” among others, have been published in major U.S. media outlets.

While these narratives have asserted that China, Russia and/or Iran will be to blame for such attacks, it is worth noting that a tight-knit web of Israeli state-owned and private companies tied to Israeli military intelligence now run the software controlling key parts of the power grid in New York, California and elsewhere in the U.S.; are the main global producers of deep fakes; and the main providers of “security” software for self-driving and semi-self-driving cars, the quantity of which on U.S. streets has grown dramatically as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

With Cybereason’s newly announced push to run its software on critical U.S. government networks at both the federal and state levels, the company’s history of simulating terror attacks on critical U.S. infrastructure and their openly admitted and on-going ties to Israeli military intelligence deserve more scrutiny than ever as the U.S. election draws closer.

 

Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.

 

~via The Last American Vagabond

RYAN CRISTIAN: “The Biodefense Illusion & The Final Push For Technocratic Control”

 

 

~via The Last American Vagabond

RYAN CRISTIAN: “Israel Uses COVID-19 To Further Infiltrate US Cybersecurity” / “US Gov Sets Fire To Wheat Crops In Syria”

 

 

~via The Last American Vagabond

THE BIG ISRAELI ‘EYE IN THE SKY’ ~ Whitney Webb: “U.S. Media Ignores Israel’s Involvement In Latest Push For ‘Smart Cities'”

“While the current coronavirus crisis and Eric Schmidt’s increasingly public role in ushering in AI-driven technological ‘solutions’ throughout New York have given a boost to the smart city agenda, the plan to create these cities in New York was in the works well before coronavirus. However, those pre-pandemic smart city plans intimately involve one key actor that has, thus far, gone unnamed in recent media reports — the state of Israel. The selection of the projects will be overseen by Eric Gertler, who was nominated to the position of President and CEO of the Empire State Development (ESD) shortly after Cuomo announced the NY-Israel Smart City partnership and returned to a trip from Israel. Notably, Gertler is also currently chairman of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) and is on the Board of Governors for Tel Aviv University and Israel’s Technion. He also has long-standing close ties to Mort Zuckerman, a Zionist media mogul who recently came under fire for his ties to his former business associate, Jeffrey Epstein.”

~Whitney Webb

 

In recent weeks, considerable media attention has been given to the decision by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to tap former Google executive Eric Schmidt to lead a 15-member panel tasked with reimagining New York’s post-pandemic tech infrastructure as well as its education, economic and healthcare system. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was also recruited for this initiative by Gov. Cuomo, leading some American media outlets to criticize the venture as turning New York “into a Silicon Valley science experiment.”

However, it is much more than merely a Silicon Valley experiment. As The Last American Vagabond reported last month, Schmidt currently chairs the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), which discussed plans last May regarding how to re-make American society to foster the mass adoption of AI-driven technologies, including so-called “smart cities” and related systems of mass surveillance. That commission includes key people, not just from Silicon Valley, but also the U.S. military and intelligence communities — a testament to how the divisions between Big Tech, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence have become increasingly blurred in recent years.

Unsurprisingly, one of the main initiatives that the Schmidt-chaired New York panel is set to promote is the fast-tracking of “smart city” implementation as outlined by the Schmidt-chaired NSCAI. The use of the term “reimagining” in the announcement that Schmidt would chair this panel also underscores this point, given that Google’s “smart city” subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, describes itself as “reimagining cities from the Internet up.” Smart cities are more accurately defined as cities that are micromanaged by technocrats via an all encompassing system of mass surveillance and a vast array of “internet of things” devices that provide a constant and massive stream of data that is analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI).

Notably, Cuomo’s appointment of Schmidt to lead this panel aimed at “reimagining” life in New York came right before news broke that a Google subsidiary was scrapping its plans to build a smart city prototype in Toronto. Schmidt still chaired Google’s parent company, Alphabet, when that deal was first negotiated in 2017. At the time, Schmidt had said that Google’s effort to turn Toronto into a “smart city” had come “from Google’s founders getting excited thinking of all the things you could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge.”

Though smart cities have been largely unpopular among Americans to date, the coronavirus crisis has led to a spate of positive PR pieces promoting their implementation, such as a recent piece in Wired which claims that “smart city planning could slow future pandemics” and an article from Forbes about how “smart cities are protecting against coronavirus.”

While the current coronavirus crisis and Schmidt’s increasingly public role in ushering in AI-driven technological “solutions” throughout New York have given a boost to the smart city agenda, the plan to create these cities in New York was in the works well before coronavirus. However, those pre-pandemic smart city plans intimately involve one key actor that has, thus far, gone unnamed in recent media reports — the state of Israel.

Who will build New York’s Smart Cities?

Last June, NY Governor Cuomo announced a $2 million partnership agreement with the Israel Innovation Authority, a branch of Israel’s Economy Ministry, that aimed to “further strengthen economic development ties between New York State and Israel.” The agreement was specifically related to the “co-development and commercialization” for technologies related to smart cities, cybersecurity and drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), among others.

A key component of this partnership was the creation of the “Smart Cities Innovation Partnership” (SCIP), which Cuomo’s office described as “a new initiative that will share innovative technologies, research, talent and business resources between cities in New York and Israel.” It was also stated that “New York and Israel will contribute an equivalent amount of matching resources” to the project. Cuomo, at the time, also said that New York’s Incubator programs for start-ups – an initiative with funds exceeding $5 million — would “implement a new focus on Israeli companies,” as opposed to local companies.

Regarding this new “Smart Cities Innovation Partnership,” Dr. Ami Applebaum — chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientists of the Israel’s Economy Ministry — stated the following:

“As technology advances and touches every facet of our daily lives, the future of Smart Cities is just around the corner and highly depends to new and innovative technologies. This collaboration between the ESD (Empire State Development of New York State) and the Israel Innovation Authority, facilitated by our Americas Operations desk and the Ministry of Economy, Foreign Trade Administration (FTA), headed by Mr. Inon Elroy, Economic Minister to North America, will provide startups an opportunity for pilot validation sites to address the strategic concerns of both States such as cybersecurity, supply chain, energy, health, transportation, wastewater, water, civic engagement, parks, public works, and safety.”

The partnership specifically called for the establishment of five “Smart Cities” in Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) regions in New York that would interact with “test bed sites” created in Israel. This means that this “smart city” partnership only involves the creation of smart cities in New York, not Israel, but gives Israeli companies a major role in designing these five New York smart cities.

Though the press release from last year claims this would be an “equal venture,” an article on the SCIP published by The Jerusalem Post in March asserts that New York’s state government will be funding the entire $2 million project, giving $1 million to the Israel Innovation Authority and $1 million to Israeli companies. The New York government website, however, currently states that the $2 million partnership involves New York state giving $1 million exclusively to New York-based companies and the Israel Innovation Authority giving additional $1 million exclusively for Israeli companies seeking to develop New York-based projects.

On March 18, the SCIP was launched “via educational outreach and solicitation of interest in different New York localities.” The five “winning” New York municipalities, who will be announced in July, will be required “to designate physical or virtual sites to be used in new pilot technologies” sometime over the course of 2020, with those “smart city” technologies being implemented in early 2021.

The selection of the projects will be overseen by Eric Gertler, who was nominated to the position of President and CEO of the Empire State Development (ESD) shortly after Cuomo announced the NY-Israel Smart City partnership and returned to a trip from Israel. Notably, Gertler is also currently chairman of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) and is on the Board of Governors for Tel Aviv University and Israel’s Technion. He also has long-standing close ties to Mort Zuckerman, a Zionist media mogul who recently came under fire for his ties to his former business associate, Jeffrey Epstein. Gertler used to work for Zuckerman as former co-publisher of the Zuckerman-owned New York Daily News and Gertler is also a trustee of Zuckerman’s family foundation.

Smart Cities and CyberNYC

The initiation of the SCIP followed the launch of another major New York partnership with Israel that created two new, massive cybersecurity centers. Those cybersecurity centers, built in New York City and funded by New York taxpayers, are managed by private Israeli companies with close ties to Israel’s government, pro-Israel lobby organizations and Israeli intelligence-linked firms. Known as “CyberNYC” and first announced in 2018, the program officially seeks to “spur the creation of 10,000 cybersecurity jobs and make New York City a global leader in cyber innovation.”

However, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and SOSA — the two Israeli companies set to run these two “CyberNYC” centers — have been rather clear that they view the centers, not as a “collaborative” effort, but as a means for providing Israeli cybersecurity companies a foothold in the American market and as a springboard for their global expansion. A report I previously wrote for MintPress News noted that both JVP and SOSA are Israeli government and military contractors and are also connected to Israel’s intelligence apparatus, particularly companies started by former members of Israel’s Unit 8200 signal intelligence unit. Notably, SOSA’s “CyberNYC” center in particular is associated with the America-Israel Friendship League, chaired by the President of New York’s ESD Eric Gertler who is involved in the NY-Israel “Smart Cities Innovation Partnership.”

Though there are numerous other such connections, the most crucial and relevant to note is that the “CyberNYC” initiative directly involves the participation of the Unit 8200 “start-up incubator” called Team8. As I previously reported for MintPress:

“Team8, particularly its presence in New York, has long been associated with the push by pro-Israel political donor and American hedge fund manager Paul Singer and Israel’s government to make Israel the global cybersecurity leader as a means of preventing countries from boycotting Israel over human rights violations and war crimes. Team8’s role in CyberNYC will see them not only finance part of the initiative but also training cybersecurity workers who will be hired as part of the partnership.”

Team8, in addition to being closely tied with controversial Unit 8200-linked companies like Cybereason, also has developed close ties to former U.S. government officials, including the former head of the U.S.’ National Security Agency (NSA) Mike Rogers, who now works for Team8. Another notable U.S. connection to Team8 is the fact that one of Team8’s leading investors is none other than Eric Schmidt, who is now set to “reimagine” life in New York at Cuomo’s behest. In addition to Team8, Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors fund is heavily invested in several Israeli “internet of things” companies and other Israeli hi-tech start-ups.

In addition, Schmidt’s former employer, Google, has partnered with the Israeli company Carbyne911 for the implementation of emergency services and 911 call functions for “smart cities.” Carbyne911 is chaired by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and was partially financed by Barak’s close friend Jeffery Epstein. Its software, designed by former Unit 8200 members, has built-in “pre-crime” functionality, among other Orwellian features.

Given that Schmidt’s involvement in the new Cuomo-created panel to “reimagine” New York’s tech infrastructure, it is very disconcerting that media reports have failed to even mention the clear role that Israeli government-backed initiatives, as well as Israeli intelligence-linked start-ups and incubators, are set to have on New York’s future.

These ties are particularly concerning given that Israel’s government and intelligence service has a long history of aggressively spying on the U.S. federal government and/or blackmailing top American politicians, particularly using technological means. In addition, Israel’s government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has an explicit policy of creating U.S. dependence on Israeli tech companies in order to counter the nonviolent Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement within the U.S. and to make Israel the dominant global “cyber power.” It is no coincidence, then, that Israel has also been chosen by other countries with strong Zionist lobbies to create “smart cities,” some specifically for “low-income residents,” in places like Brazil and elsewhere in the years since this policy began in 2012.

Of course, while these policies and the NY-Israel smart city partnership are set to be a major boon for Israeli companies and Israel’s geopolitical goals, New Yorkers stand to be the biggest losers of the “reimagining” of their state. Not only are high-paying jobs in New York’s hi-tech future being given to foreigners and foreign-owned companies, but also the already privacy-eroding potential of “smart cities” will be placed largely in the hands of a foreign power.

Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.

 

~via The Last American Vagabond

ADAM GREEN: “Roger Stone Israeli Election Meddling in Redacted FBI Documents”

 

 

~via Know More News