$$News and Reports$$

Jul. 31, 2018


Above from left to right: BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi and Dr. Nir Nissim with David and Janet Polak and grandchildren and Jeff Polak.

Members of the Polak family recently visited Ben-Gurion University of the Negev from Los Angeles to participate in the dedication ceremony to acknowledge their generous support for the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab. Headed by Dr. Nir Nissim, the lab is part of the renowned Cyber@BGU research facilities in the Advanced Technology Park adjacent to BGU.

The lab focuses on developing artificial intelligence-based solutions for real time and critical cybersecurity threats. The Malware Lab strives to keep pace with the hottest topics and challenges in the dynamic and ever-changing cyber security domain, including securing digital medical devices, securing the virtual cloud, as well as securing the popular computerized USB peripherals.

At the ceremony, Dr. Nissim thanked the Polak family, saying, “Today, thanks to your significant support, the Malware lab includes 15 outstanding research students, six research projects, and a vision that is realized on a daily basis."

“I am pleased to recognize the important role of the Polak Family in our achievements and the accomplishments of one extended family — the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Laboratory family — of which I am now a part," Nissim concluded.

David and Janet Polak's son, Jeff, became involved with BGU through the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University Zin Fellows Leadership Program, an in-depth immersion into the issues involved in the continuing development of the Negev – the region's history, topography, geography, demography, sustainability, and its unique place in the unfolding development of the State of Israel.

“Four years ago, I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about a high-tech park being created out of the desert across the bridge from BGU," Jeff Polak said at the dedication, “and it sparked an interest."

“We were looking for an exciting opportunity and focused on cybersecurity since 25 percent of global investment in the field is here in Israel," Jeff explains. “We are happy to be donating to something in Israel that is not just about Israel, but is high caliber, world-class research. We look forward to being partners in many future opportunities."

During the visit, the Malware Lab's research students intrigued the Polak family with two innovative attacks and the evolving solutions to address them. The “Malboard" attack was presented by MSc student Nitzan Farhi. Malboard is the first malicious keyboard based on artificial intelligence. The “PaceWall," the first firewall for implanted pacemakers was presented by MSc student Matan Kintzlinger.



Above: Researchers in the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab.