Russian missiles and Israeli love

A top-ranking Russian official recently confirmed his nation's intention to go ahead with the sale of some particularly lethal cruise missiles to Syria. Israel, not-so-surprisingly, is not-so-happy. The supersonic Russian Yakhont missiles have a range of 138 miles, according to the BBC, and could target Israeli warships in the Mediterranean.

Syria and Russia signed the missile agreement in 2007, but Russia is yet to deliver the goods.

The Israelis have been working for some time to dissuade the Russians on fulfilling their contract, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoning his Russian counterpart, Vladir Putin, last month to try and convince him to renege on the agreement.

Of course, the Russians are quite notorious for this kind of behavior; back in 2005 they signed a contract for the supply of the S-300 missile defense system to Iran -- a powerful anti-aircraft system which poses serious threats to modern aircraft, including Israel's own air force. December will mark five years of the Russians dragging their feet on the deal, offering conflicting statements on the status of the system throughout the process.

In the meantime, Russia has been reaping the benefits of the situation, purchasing advanced Israeli drones this spring -- their first military purchase from Israel. More recently, Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, travelled to Moscow to meet with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, where he signed a quite promising military cooperation deal.

Lesson for the day? You could be getting those missiles soon Syria -- but don't get your hopes up, the Russians know how to milk you for the ride.

Then again, they may be learning from the best.

Ariel Hermoni/ Israeli Defense Ministry via Getty Images


Interpol chief impersonated on Facebook

In a speech in Hong Kong arguing that cybercrime may be "one of the most dangerous criminal threats ever," and detailing his organization's efforst to counter it, Interpol Chief Ronald K. Noble told this harrowing tale of his own brush with online identity theft: 

[E]ven with the best standards in place, security incidents can always happen.

Just recently INTERPOL’s Information Security Incident Response Team discovered two Facebook profiles attempting to assume my identity as INTERPOL’s Secretary General.

One of the impersonators was using this profile to try to obtain information on fugitives
targeted during our recent Operation Infra Red. This Operation was bringing investigators from 29 member countries at the INTERPOL General Secretariat to exchange information on international fugitives and lead to more than 130 arrests in 32 countries. 

Noble didn't go into details about how much success the cyberfraudsters got with their ruse -- some of the press reports have been a tad misleading in this regard -- but frankly, if this is the level cybercriminals are operating on, I don't think we have much to worry about. 

It's perfectly fine that Noble has an official Facebook profile,  but I would certainly hope he's not using it to share and obtain information with other law enforcement officials. I'm trying to imagine how the fake Ronald Nobles would go about trying to deceive their marks: "Hey there, it's Ron from Interpol. Just postin' on ur wall to see how that big organized crime investigation is going. Please send me all the deets including names of suspects and plans for future operations! TTYL!!!"

If fake Facebook pages are really a threat to Interpol security, they probably have bigger things to worry about.