Israeli Scientists Accidentally Reveal Classified Information

According to this story (non-paywall English version here), Israeli scientists released some information to the public they shouldn't have.

Defense establishment officials are now trying to erase any trace of the secret information from the web, but they have run into difficulties because the information was copied and is found on a number of platforms.

Those officials have managed to ensure that the Haaretz article doesn't have any actual information about the information. I have reason to believe the information is related to Internet security. Does anyone know more?

Posted on January 31, 2018 at 2:37 PM • 20 Comments

Comments

echoJanuary 31, 2018 3:42 PM

The only ding dong I can discover with a scientific angle is about oil fields in a disputed territory with Lebanon.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1236816/middle-east

There is also a submarine procurement scandal.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/MK-Hasson-vows-to-use-immunity-to-leak-PM-submarine-probe-if-there-is-one-540048

Bruces blog also pops up in searches now which is quite funny. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is currently caught up in his own Spycatcher style scandal which is not so funny if you are him.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/state-prosecution-closes-probe-into-olmerts-memoir-leaks/

(required)February 1, 2018 11:17 AM

"The fist rule of Internet Security is: you do NOT TALK about Internet Security."

That's the first rule of Israel.

echoFebruary 1, 2018 6:12 PM

I wonder if it is related to US allegations that Syria is developing new chemical weapons. I'm not completely convinced about this allegation. Maybe the material was being used to build a case and why it was suddenly ripped down so fast? I admit this is all speculation caused by information vacuums.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/syria-chemical-weapons-latest-bashar-al-assad-government-new-weapons-trump-administration-a8189851.html

CassandraFebruary 2, 2018 2:14 AM

It is interesting to see that the ability to know what is missing can sometimes be just as important as knowing what is there[1].

To those in the know, it will be obvious which articles/web-pages have been pulled, but if you are not in the know, looking for something that isn't there now but was there once is a difficult task.

If it is to do with Internet security, in the absence of other information, I would be tempted to examine non-Israeli records of the output of Ben Gurion university (specifically, the Oren laboratory) and compare with Israeli records of the same, looking for recent holes. Although, I'm not sure if that group qualifies as "Israeli scientists in a state institution".

If I were Israeli, I would seek to replace embarrassing content with articles of the same name, but with different/modified content - and to preserve verisimilitude, make sure the ersatz content remained sufficiently embarrassing to be credible, but misdirect away from the secret you are trying to hide.

[1]Doyle, A I C The Adventure of Silver Blaze

Roger WolffFebruary 3, 2018 8:32 AM

> If I were Israeli, I would seek to replace embarrassing content with
> articles of the same name, but with different/modified content -
> and to preserve verisimilitude, make sure the ersatz content
> remained sufficiently embarrassing to be credible, but misdirect
> away from the secret you are trying to hide.

Any archived copy of the article is then enough to do a mechanical "diff" to find the exact detail you're trying to hide. Delete the whole article and when you find the archive copy you have to read the whole thing and hope you see what's important to them, whereas leaving the fake article allows a quick diff to pinpoint the obvious changes.

To determine which strategy is best, you have to know the chances of finding an archived copy, the ease of finding a deleted article and how common changes to already published articles are.

CassandraFebruary 3, 2018 8:58 AM

@Roger Wolff

I agree. But if you replace the article with a doctored one, first of all you have to detect the replacement. If you are given a dataset of metadata with holes in to compare with an archived version of the same dataset, it is easy enough to find the holes. But, if the metadata remain the same, you have a great deal of haystack searching to find which stalks have been doctored.

If you merely delete articles from journals, it is very easy to compare indices with external /archived sources. If the indices remain the same, you don't even know where to look. Much scientific research is behind paywalls, So having to compare full-texts gets expensive, fast.

It's the difference between detecting the ripping of a page out of a book, or replacing a page in a ring-binder with a new page containing altered text.

22519February 6, 2018 8:25 AM

As I thought, this issue has gone from a blip on the radar screen to a dimly remembered story--pretty fast.

I tried to imagine the Israeli reaction, and what kinds of effort would have to be made to make it all go away. I would be willing to bet that the damning information has disappeared completely from servers, and anyone who saw it has been properly briefed and threatened with severe penalties. I imagine that a few non-disclosure agreements based on national security were probably signed.

It makes one see that being ready to get engaged with the news is an important thing. So, in the entire Middle East there is not one human being who tracks the news closely and is ready to jump on something that Haaretz--or any others in the Israeli press--might let slip?

Eternal BiasFebruary 10, 2018 11:38 PM

mailinglists, rss feeds, usenet. Those are not as 'ephemeral' as the rest of the internet.

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