A bipartisan delegation of US House members headed by Florida Representative Ted Deutch visited an Israeli cybersecurity company Cobwebs Technologies during their visit to Israel last week.
Among the delegates were congressman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, Congressman Gus Bilirakis, member of the Committee of Energy and Commerce, Congressman Henry Cuellar, member of the Committee on Appropriations, and congressman Randy Weber, a member of the US government Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
They were joined by Kathleen Rice, Cheryl Bustos, Jennifer González, Darren Soto and other members of congress.
Cobwebs, based in Herzliya, was founded five years ago by president Omri Timianker, CEO Udi Levy, and CTO Shay Attias, all alumni of special IDF units. The company of some 80 employees with offices in New York, Singapore and Israel specializes in gathering intelligence data with a security orientation from all over the Internet.
“We saw many gaps in the cyber intelligence arena,” Levy told The Jerusalem Post, explaining that the company has developed technology for gathering open source intelligence by using big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to help clients “work faster with what they have.”
Cobwebs supplies its products to law enforcement agencies, government agencies (mainly for national security or critical infrastructure), as well as financial agencies around the world. Clients use the product for criminal investigations, human trafficking, drug smuggling, arms dealing, counter-terror, computer fraud, and money laundering.
The company offers automated web intelligence (WEBINT) that monitors online activity, collects and analyzes data online-from social media as well as the open, deep and dark web. By using artificial intelligence (AI), their solution offers customers predictive monitoring, social network analysis, target profiling, and more.
With just one click, authorities are able to identify connections between criminals or terrorists which would otherwise be missed.
While presenting their technology to the US delegates, Cobwebs revealed how its algorithm successfully cracked various terrorist attacks around the globe.
While Levy and Timianker would not divulge their clients, they told The Post that thanks to their product one client was able to unveil a European Islamic State network with over 1,000 recruits two years ago.
“Our product identified two Islamic State members and with one click was able to identify 1,200 group members and identify their recruitment trail,” Timianker said, adding that the whole investigation took 30 minutes.
“Within a few minutes after an attack happens you need a social media investigation because afterwards it will be too late,” Timianker said, referring to that critical first hour as the “Golden Hour” like in medical emergencies.
“It may take place in London but it can then happen in Germany, France, etc. The world is flat online, there’s not much distance between people,” he said.
Another more recent Cobwebs success story was identifying an Iranian hacker group over the past few months that had been targeting American government facilities in Washington.
After the presentation, several delegates said that they were impressed with the technological developments by the company and discussed how it could be implemented in various law enforcement agencies in the US to help prevent terrorist attacks.
The company’s product is also used by the Hartford, Connecticut, Police Department.
“It is a great honor to share our accumulated knowledge in the cyber field with people of such stature as members of the American congress. This is another important milestone for Israeli high-tech,” Levy said.