JCRC offers $5,000 reward for “knockout” assailants

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction (or a finding of delinquency) of individuals responsible for any of the reported, so-called “knockout” assaults in New York City.

Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) explained, “These attacks have dislodged the sense of safety and security that most New Yorkers feel when they walk our streets. The cowardly assailants often prey on the most vulnerable: Jews and Christians, Blacks and Whites. There have already been arrests. We want to give the NYPD an additional tool to stop these crimes as quickly as possible”.

The so-called “knockout” attacks are being investigated as possible hate crimes by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force. Michael Miller continued, “We thank Police Commissioner Kelly for his response to this outbreak. The Hate Crimes Task Force has some of the finest investigators in the NYPD, who are employing every resource available to arrest those responsible. We offer this reward in order to help make the streets safe for all New Yorkers.”

Because there are multiple attacks, the JCRC-NY will work with the NYPD to determine the amount of each reward, up to a maximum total of $5,000.

Anyone with information about any of the so-called “knockout” attacks should contact NYPD Crimestoppers at 1-(800) 577-TIPS. Your identity and information will be kept anonymous.

Posted in Uncategorized

JCRC-NY Security and Emergency Info

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Countering new cyberthreats

Stop. Think. Connect.

Click on the icon to download a set of posters to help you create a culture of cybersecurity.

The FBI and the National Cybersecurity and Communications have identified new computer malware threats and recommend that, “organizations should increase vigilance and evaluate their capabilities encompassing planning, preparation, detection, and response for such an event.” Destructive malware is a direct threat to your daily operations. Because of the increasing sophistication of malware, anyone (employee, client, volunteer, student) who  is on your network could trigger an infection affecting everyone. Organizations should work to develop a culture of safe computing.

  1. The publication, Planning and Recommended Guidance: Destructive Malware is technical, but it is a good guide for techies. Please pass it on to your IT departments and/0r consultants to assist them to protect you, your data, your credit and your reputation.
  2. The National Cyber Awareness System reports outbreak of “ransomware” that restricts access to infected computers and demands a payment to to decrypt and recover your files (see CryptoLocker Ransomware Infections for more information and how to undo the damage). The latest means of infection appears to be phishing emails designed to mimic the look of legitimate businesses and through phony FedEx and UPS tracking notices. Some victims saw the malware appear following after a previous infection from existing botnets lurking on infected computers.


      • Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages or submit any information to webpages in links
      • Use caution when opening email attachments. Refer to the Security Tip Using Caution with Email Attachments< for more information on safely handling email attachments
      • Maintain up-to-date anti-virus software
      • Perform regular backups of all systems to limit the impact of data and/or system loss
      • Apply changes to your Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems and Firewalls to detect any known malicious activity
      • Secure open-share drives by only allowing connections from authorized users
      • Keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest patches
      • Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams
      • Refer to the Security Tip Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information on social engineering attacks

For more tips about cybersecurity, check out the following non-technical publications:

Posted in computer malware, Cybercrime, Jewish cybercrime hackers, jewish security

Street closures during UN Week

Due to the visit of world leaders for the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and other High-Level Meetings, there will be street closures and other traffic restrictions, security check points, and extremely limited parking in the vicinity of the United Nations from Monday, September 23, 2013 through Wednesday, October 2, 2013.

See the details on road closings, other restrictions and help numbers at UN_General_Assembly_20130917

Posted in NYPD

Schumer, Gillibrand secure over $3.4 million for 39 at-risk Jewish organizations


Schumer and Gillibrand Secured over 30% Of Total Funding For Organizations Based in New York – Out of the Total $10 Million Granted to Awardees Across the Country

The Awardees Include 39 Jewish Educational Institutions and Congregations; The Money Will Help These At-Risk Nonprofits For Security Preparedness

Schumer, Gillibrand: These Schools and Congregations are Vital Parts of our Community and Like Institutions Have Been Targeted Before; We Must Do All We Can to Protect All At-Risk Institutions

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that 39 New York Jewish organizations, including schools and congregations, and more have received a combined total of $3,425,148 for the 2013 fiscal year as Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Awardees. The program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), awards federal funds to nonprofit organizations that are at a high risk of a national terrorist attack to encourage preparedness efforts.

“Would-be evildoers have previously targeted schools and congregations for attacks and that’s why FEMA’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program is critical in making sure that high-risk organizations like Jewish schools and congregations are safe and protected from terrorist attacks,” said Schumer. “It is especially important for organizations in and around New York City to receive this federal funding, which will go a long way to ensure that they are fully prepared for whatever may happen in the future.”

“New York’s religious institutions and non-profit organizations are the backbone of our communities,” Senator Gillibrand said. “No New Yorker, or American, should ever have to live or worship in fear of being targeted because of who they are or what they believe. As we have seen, New York City’s places of faith, worship and community gatherings continue to be targeted by hatred. These homeland security dollars will help arm our non-profits with the resources they need to guard us from attacks and keep us safe.”

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is run under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). For the 2013 fiscal year, the UASI NSGP was budgeted $10 million. Only eligible nonprofit organizations, as described by the 501(c)(3) tax code of 1986, may apply for this grant. To be eligible, the nonprofit must be at high risk for an international terrorist attack and must be located in one of the designated urban areas throughout the country.

The 39 Jewish organizations that received funding from the New York City area are the Bay Terrace Jewish Center, Bnos Square of Williamsburg, Bnos Zion of Bobov, Boro Park Hatzolah, Chabad Israel Center of the Upper East Side, Chabad Lubavitch of Brooklyn Heights, Chabad of Great  Neck, East Meadow Jewish Center, Greater Five Towns YM & YWHA-DBA-JCC, Hatzolah of Williamsburg, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Jewish Foundation School of Staten Island, Jewish Institute of Queens, Lincoln Square Synagogue, Magen David Yeshivah, Manetto Hill Jewish Center, Mayon Chai, North Shore Hebrew Academy, Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, Park East Synagogue, Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School, Ramaz School, Shulamith School for Girls of Brooklyn, Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center, Talmud Torah D’Nitra, Temple Israel of Great Neck, Temple Israel of Northern Westchester, The Bialystoker Synagogue, The Center for Jewish Life, United Talmudical Academy, Yeshiva Beth Hillel of Williamsburg, Yeshiva of Brooklyn, Yeshiva Tifereth Moshe, Yeshiva of Flatbush, Young Israel of Flatbush, Young Israel of Midwood, Young Israel of Woodmere and Young Mens and Young Womens Hebrew Association of Bronx.

Posted in jewish security, nonprofit security grants Jewish, NSGP

Syria: potential repercussions

The escalating drumbeat for military action naturally leads to questions about possible terrorism here in New York. Note: as of today there are no specific, credible threats against New York or the Jewish community. Nevertheless, all Jewish organizations should review their security and emergency preparedness plans to ensure that they are up-to-date and that they can be readily implemented. Some specifics:

High Holidays

If you are an organizations hosting High Holiday services and/or programs you should:

  1. Notify your local police about all planned services and programs. Discuss the number of people expected at each service and ask them for any suggestions that could improve your security and emergency preparedness plans.
  2. Review your security and emergency preparedness measures, especially access control, evacuation and lockdowns. Meet with your staff and volunteers and make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what to do. See our previous post here for resources and suggestions.

Potential for Cyberattacks

Last week the Syrian Electronic Army compromised the New York Times website and others. Western financial institutions are also targetted by others. We all should review our own cybersecurity because, in the past, anti-Israel hackers have attacked Jewish-related sites. See our previous post: Protecting your cyberlives.

This week the FBI distributed the following:

  • The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a pro-regime hacker group that emerged during Syrian antigovernment protests in 2011, has been compromising high-profile media outlets in an effort to spread proregime propaganda. The SEA’s primary capabilities include spearphishing, Web defacements, and hijacking social media accounts to spread propaganda. Over the past several months, the SEA has been highly effective in compromising multiple high-profile media outlets.
  • The SEA has recently compromised high profile media Web sites through a new tactic of hacking third party networks – including a Domain Name System (DNS) registrar and a content recommendation website.
  • In April 2013, the SEA compromised the Twitter feed of the Associated Press, posting a false story that President Obama was injured, causing in a brief drop in the stock market.
  • In addition to Syrian hackers, groups or individuals sympathetic to the SEA may also be observed participating in CNO efforts against US Web sites and networks.
  • Please maintain heightened awareness of your network traffic and take appropriate steps to maintain your network security. If you detect anomalous or malicious traffic or network behavior, please contact your local FBI Cyber Task Force or the FBI CyWatch (855) 292-3937 immediately.

Defending Against Hacktivism

In general, hacktivism cyber attacks may result in denial of service, Web site defacements, and the compromise of sensitive information which may lead to harassment and identify theft. Although the specific OpUSA claims referenced above speak specifically to DDoS attacks, precautionary measures to mitigate a range of potential hacktivism threats include:

  • Implement a data back-up and recovery plan to maintain copies of sensitive or proprietary data in a separate and secure location. Backup copies of sensitive data should not be readily accessible from local networks. 
  • Have a DDoS mitigation strategy ready ahead of time and keep logs of any potential attacks.
  • Scrutinize links contained in e-mail attachments.
  • Regularly mirror and maintain an image of critical system files.
  • Encrypt and secure sensitive information.
  • Use strong passwords, implement a schedule for changing passwords frequently and do not reuse passwords for multiple accounts.
  • Enable network monitoring and logging where feasible.
  • Be aware of social engineering tactics aimed at obtaining sensitive information.
  • Securely eliminate sensitive files and data from hard drives when no longer needed or required.
  • Establish a relationship with local law enforcement and participate in IT information sharing groups for early warnings of threats.
Posted in computer malware, high holidays, Jewish cybercrime hackers, nonprofit security, terrorism

Nonprofit Security Grant Program 2013 statistics

The US Department of Homeland Security announced the winners of the 2013 NSGP and New York did better than ever.

This year, New York State awardees will have to do additional paperwork and we realize that  the requirements may be inappropriate for some of the grantees. JCRC reached out to Gov. Cuomo’s office to request alternatives. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about prequalification, please go to the Grants Reform website at http://www.grantsreform.ny.gov/ or contact Valerie Bloomer at (518) 242-5099 or via email at vbloomer@dhses.ny.gov.

Thanks to NY DHSES Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer, Shelley Wahrlich and Valerie Bloomer for making this critical program work in New York.

Thanks to NY DHSES Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer, Shelley Wahrlich and Valerie Bloomer for making this critical program work so well in New York.

Posted in nonprofit security, nonprofit security grants Jewish, NSGP