Fast-Forwarding the Battle Against Cyber Terrorists

Bar-Ilan Professors Use Mathematical
Models To Combat Cyber-Terror

Osnat KerenWith cyber-terror becoming a growing threat to the national security of the US, Israel and the entire Western World, two Bar-Ilan professors are working feverishly to fast-forward strategies that will provide a more secure cyber-future at all possible levels of attack.

Dr. Osnat Keren, of Bar-Ilan's School of Engineering, is using mathematical models to design codes and hardware to detect all maliciously injected errors before any damage is done. Dr. Nathan Keller, of the Mathematics Department, is focusing on examining the efficacy of codes designed to protect sensitive information. He is discovering "chinks in the armor" that can be used to shift protected information out of the shadows and into the right hands.

Creating a Coding Protocol to Reveal Cyber-Attackers

Together with her colleagues, Dr. Keren is working on a coding protocol that will reveal the presence of cyber-attackers who are a major concern for security agencies which wage battle against enemies in cyber-space.

This protocol will also help to protect all electronic communications (internet, telephones, industry and banking systems, to name but a few) that are vital for a secure and reliable modern society. 

She says, "With a smart coding approach, we can guarantee that no cyber-attacker can initiate an offensive without being noticed."

Nathan KellerGrowing Importance of Cryptographic Analysis in National Security Matters

According to Dr. Keller, a new age has dawned for cryptology. "Until the mid-20th century, most cryptology research was devoted to protecting military secrets…But in the age of cyber-terror, civilian infrastructure presents a very attractive military target. A computer virus that knocks out a country's electrical grid can be more threatening than a tank division," he says. 

He is working in a branch of mathematics called combinatorics, which is related to the study of finite or countable discrete structures, which has a wide range of applications. He says this work has relevance to everything from elections to economics to computer networks.

"Our techniques help identify the path most likely to overcome 'noise', and to provide useful results."

To learn more about how Bar-Ilan University's faculty is combatting cyber-terror, call Howard Charish at 212-906-3900 or email


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