"Internet has become a real battlefield"

IDF is preparing for the challenges of the cyber era, including attacks by hackers and enemy countries

Date: 08/01/2012, 2:03 PM     Author: Hadas Duvdevani

"In the past year, the cyber domain has become another battlefront, in addition to the ground, sea and air," said the head of the Computer Service Directorate's Cyber Defense Department at a conference last week. "The internet has become a real battlefield."

"Our job is to make sure that the entire IDF is prepared in this area," said the senior officer. He noted that the IDF is establishing a unit to monitor cyber incidents online, as part of the building of forces for this new arena.

The official said that the cyber issue has an operational and real influence beyond cyberspace, which can harm organizations and even countries.

"Terrorist groups understand that there is a huge potential for causing harm to countries or entities, damage that could change the balance," he said. "Our job is to prevent this from happening. In contrast to other battle fronts, time and space have no meaning in the cyber realm. It can be a single hacker or a large group."

The official estimated that the bodies operating against Israel include terrorist groups, organized crime syndicates, enemy countries, professional and amateur hackers, companies, corporations and internal entities.

"Viruses, Trojans and worms have been around for years, yet something has changed," he said. "The entire fabric of our lives, from when we wake up to when we fall asleep, depends on the computer."

According to the official, the IDF is currently developing defensive cyber measures, with an emphasis on operational responses to cyber incidents.