Cyber-Attack Deploys In Israeli Forces

Cyber-Attack Deploys In Israeli Forces
Cyber-Attack Deploys In Israeli Forces

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By David Eshel
Tel Aviv 
Aviation Week
Sept 15, 2010 

Geopolitical concerns and two wars in recent years have put Israel at 
the forefront of cyberwar and cyber-defense. As the most computerized 
country in the Middle East, Israel stands to lose a great deal if its 
military and civilian networks prove vulnerable to cyber-attack.

According to Maj. Gen. (ret.) Isaac Ben-Israel, a professor at Tel Aviv 
University and an expert on digital warfare, Israel=E2=80=99s defense community 
has been aware of the dangers of cyberspace for two decades. In the late 
1990s, the government established a special authority to supervise all 
aspects of national information security. The internal security 
authority (Shin Bet) took responsibility for civilian and national 
assets, while military security supervised defense networks. These 
activities eventually came under the supervision of the national 
security council, which also advised on national research and 
development initiatives in cyber-security systems. This initiative led 
to the formation of high-tech companies specializing in cyber-security, 
which became market leaders internationally. Most of these firms were 
founded by former Israel Defense Force (IDF) veterans who became experts 
in computer systems during their service.

Israel is also involved in developing an offensive cyber-doctrine. While 
air force Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, chief of intelligence, is concerned 
about defensive capabilities in cyberspace, he also promotes an 
offensive dimension to cyberwarfare, stating that both fit well within 
Israel=E2=80=99s combat doctrine. According to Yadlin, cyberwarfare covers three 
areas=E2=80=94intelligence-gathering, defense and attack. The IDF plans to be 
active in all three. Although authorities keep a low profile on such 
activities, foreign sources highlight some of the latest Israeli 
successes in the field.

In an interview with DTI, Ben-Israel stressed the importance of fast 
reactions when a critical computer network, national or military, comes 
under attack. This creates a dilemma for decision-makers over who should 
be responsible for cyberwarfare and cyber-defense. Heated discussions 
have, in fact, been underway between military intelligence and top army 
brass about which group should have control of current and future 
assets. Since the question ultimately involves intelligence-gathering 
and operational considerations, the decision will probably be made by 
the prime minister, perhaps with guidance from the national security 


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