The increasingly wired nature of the world means cyberspace will likely be the world’s next large battlefield (if it isn’t already).
Israel, always at the forefront of military technology, is paying close attention to the way the wind is blowing.
Major General Aviv Kochavi, speaking at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, went on record as saying “cyber, in my modest opinion, will soon be revealed to be the biggest revolution in warfare, more than gunpowder and the utilization of air power in the last century.”
The general’s embracing of cyber warfare is not really a surprise.
As UPI writes:
Israel has been a major leader in cyber warfare for some time. It is widely believed to have sabotaged the core of Iran’s contentious nuclear program, its uranium enrichment center, with the notorious Stuxnet virus in 2010 in collaboration with the United States.
Israel is not the only country attempting to lead the cyber charge. In many ways, it is simply reacting to the times. Iran, for example, has also fast-tracked its own cyber warfare capabilities and is it is believed to be behind “kinetic” (destructive to real-world objects) cyber attacks on energy facilities in both Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as distributed denial of service attacks on several American banks.
Israel, too, has suffered at the hands of cyber warfare. The Carmel Tunnels, a major traffic hub in northern Israel leading to Haifa, the Israeli navy’s major base, were shut down through a cyberattack.
Prior to that, there was another attempted cyberattack on Haifa’s water system.
This constant threat of attack has led to the establishment of some of the best military intelligence organisations in the world. The best of the best being Unit 8200.
Unit 8200 is so noted for their sophistication and ability to track potential enemies that many retired service men from the industry are now helping to drive a tech boom. Some of the algorithms and technologies that the Unit have developed are so devilishly accurate that there are aims for deploying these algorithms for something entirely new: pre-crime prevention.
So far, Israel’s extensive cyber capabilities have already prevented at least one major attack from occurring.
An attempted al Qaeda attack on a US embassy in Tel Aviv was recently foiled through the coordination of counter-intelligence work and cyber security. Three Palestinian recruits planning on travelling to Syria for training were discovered in part due to their internet trail.
The transition to a world of cyber warfare does not mean the end to conventional warfare. It just means another future war venue that needs to be protected.
Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, chief of staff of Israel’s military forces, warned delegates at a technology conference in Tel Aviv that the country’s next major war could start with a cyberattack that paralyzes the country.
Ultimately, if that could happen in Israel, that could happen to any country.
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