sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, July 17, 2015

Israeli CyberWarfare


Israel exported $6 billion in cyberwarfare/security products. They plan to increase their market share. Unit 8200 is part of that plan. Given that Israel has been "thrown under the bus" by the US in the current nuclear deal with Iran and that both Iranian and other Palestinian hacker groups are ramping up in their attacks on Israel. The US "gift" of $100 billion to Iran as part of the sanctions being lifted is anticipated to help fuel their acquisition of computer equipment for more brutish attacks on Israeli government servers.
(Financial Times) In a searingly hot afternoon at a campus-like new science park in Beer Sheva, southern Israel, I watched as a group of bright, geeky teenagers presented their graduation projects. Parents and uniformed army personnel milled around a windowless room packed with tables holding laptops, phones or other gadgets. There was excited chatter and a pungent smell of adolescent sweat.

This was a recent graduation ceremony for Magshimim (which roughly translates as "fulfilment"), the three-year after-school programme for 16 to 18-year-old students with exceptional computer coding and hacking skills. Magshimim serves as a feeder system for potential recruits to Unit 8200, the Israeli military's legendary high-tech spy agency, considered by intelligence analysts to be one of the most formidable of its kind in the world. Unit 8200, or shmone matayim as it's called in Hebrew, is the equivalent of America's National Security Agency and the largest single military unit in the Israel Defence Forces.

It is also an elite institution whose graduates, after leaving service, can parlay their cutting-edge snooping and hacking skills into jobs in Israel, Silicon Valley or Boston's high-tech corridor. The authors of Start-up Nation, the seminal 2009 book about Israel's start-up culture, described 8200 and the Israeli military's other elite units as "the nation's equivalent of Harvard, Princeton and Yale." 
With a female IDF minder at my side, I listened as the teenagers described their projects. More than half were boys but there were girls too, and 8200 is open to both. Omer, 19, had designed a USB key that can suck information out of one computer and organise it on another: essentially, a hacking tool. "We made it appear like a keyboard so you can infiltrate any company in the world," he told me. "It's a proof of concept."
The Saudis and Egyptians are playing catch-up in the world of cyberwarfare and remain considerably behind their Israeli ally.

The US has created a bi-polar system in the Middle East where Israel and the Arabs are making common cause against the Iranians, who apparently are backed by their arch enemy, the US. I have absolutely no idea why the US chose the highly unreliable and militarily aggressive to be the "winner" in the Middle East. You'd have to ask President Obama if you want an answer...but he doesn't give straight answers traditionally.


It's a strange world when the Saudis, the Egyptians and the rest of the Arabs are now Israeli allies against Iran. Naturally, all of the Arabs will want their own nuclear arsenals for use against Iran.



10 comments:

  1. Obama .... wrong in so many ways. It'll take someone with a set of D2 steel balls to fix the damage with our allies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Resurrect George Smith Patton Jr. -- and the Third Army

      Delete
  2. You will notice that since the arrival - and happily soon departure - of the obamster, there have been fewer in-print stories about Israel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Well, they are out of favor because they weren't conquered by Muslims.

      Delete
  3. Yep, now ANOTHER #^%# arms race is starting...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's bound to be good for the military industrial complex.

      Delete
  4. We need our allies...(like Israel) more than they need us at this point. Thing is we don't seem to care, or be will to do anything about it other than talk amongst ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that notion is lost on Saudi Arabia and Israel.

      Delete
  5. The Israelis will do what they need to survive as they see it. Anyone still remember the Liberty? Think they won't launch a cyber attack against the USA if it serves their purposes? For instance, should they go after Iran's nuclear assets and they blind our radars and communications in the Gulf as part of their strategy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure that's in the works.

      And as you would you think, I remember the USS Liberty and General Arial Sharon, who ordered the attack. The Israelis have never been shy about doing this sort of thing.

      With the conventional weapons sanctions being lifted, Iran can buy first rate anti-aircraft technology - even from the USA to protect their sites from the pesky Jews. Which is part of the problem that Kerry/Obama were dealing with when they lifted THOSE sanctions.

      Delete

It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life