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David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab

David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab

August 8, 2018

Homeland & Cyber Security, Leadership, Awards & Events

Ben-Gurion University welcomed the Polak Family in celebration of their generous support for the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab.

The Lab, part of BGU’s Cyber Security Research Center, focuses on developing artificial intelligence-based solutions for real-time and critical cyber security threats.

“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, ” said Dr. Nir Nissim, head of the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab at Cyber@BGU, and a member of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, at the ceremony.

“I am pleased to recognize the important role the Polak family has played in the achievements and the accomplishments of the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab,” Dr. Nissim concluded.

BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi standing with Dr. Nir Nissim, David Polak, Janet Polk, Jeff Polak and his two children.

The Polaks, based in Los Angeles, have “always known about BGU,” said Jeff Polak, David and Janet’s son. They decided to take a closer look after learning about how the Negev is developing and about BGU’s relationship to the Israel Defense Forces, soon to locate their high-tech units next door.

“Four years ago, I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about a high-tech park being created in the desert across the bridge from BGU,” Jeff said at the dedication, “and it sparked my interest.” This park became the Ben-Gurion Advanced Technologies Park.

“We were looking for an exciting opportunity and focused on cyber security, since 25 percent of global investment in the field is here in Israel,” Jeff explained. “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 their visit, the family got to experience how the “Malboard” attack, the first malicious keyboard using artificial intelligence, works. Then they were introduced to the “PaceWall,” the first firewall implemented for pacemakers.

Jeff is an alumnus of the Cohort III 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.