IDF soldiers engaged in cyber security 370.
(photo credit: yadlashiryon.com)
In a hypothetical yet plausible situation, a very senior IDF commander is
sitting at home, when he is alerted of a developing threat over the
As he makes his way to IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv to meet with
army brass, the commander pulls out a handheld military communications device,
which sends and receives highly encrypted broadcasts. Before the commander’s
vehicle reaches its destination, he receives video feed of the threat, and
studies the updated list of targets that need to be struck to eliminate the
By the time he arrives at the meeting, he is fully briefed on the
This scenario is made possible thanks to a developing
intelligence command and control system called the Castle of the Lake (Tirat
Ha’agam in Hebrew), which links information input from every possible source –
the air force, navy, ground troops, and intelligence services – processes the
data, and presents it to military decision- makers in a simple and clear
Created in 2005, the Castle of the Lake was most recently used
during Operation Pillar of Defense in November, when the IDF General Staff had
access to live video feeds of rocket launches from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
It is the product of the IDF’s C4I (command, control, communications, computers
and intelligence) Branch, and the two men who have been key to developing it,
both of whom can only be identified as “Maj. A.,” are proud of its advanced
“Since 2005, many new features have been installed every
year,” Maj. A., of C4I’s Technological Teleprocessing Unit said.
second Maj. A., from C4I’s weapons division, added, “This system delivers
information for the General Staff and regional commands. It’s programmed for
three situations: War, emergencies and continuous security. We get the
information, embed it, and connect it to a system that presents it
Simplicity of presentation is key, he said, adding, “People are
people. They get tired, or aren’t familiar with the latest technology. We have
to keep all of this in mind.
“This allows the users to take decisions
based on quality information, issue an order, and then ensure that the order is
carried out correctly,” he said.
Citing the rise of terrorist and
asymmetrical threats around Israel, Maj. A. said the IDF needs “a modern
information system to support it.”
The Ness TSG telecom company is a key
partner in creating the system, and works with Maj. A. from the Technological
“This isn’t a tactical war room, it’s a strategic
asset that brings a very large amount of information to those making decisions,”
he said. “It creates one language between all branches of
Asked how secure the system is from hacking attacks, he
replied, “We understand that if we don’t invest significantly in securing
system, it loses its right to exist. Every version is well defended.”
system can be accessed via army computers in headquarters, or anywhere via
specialized handheld devices.
“We understand that the the decision-maker
has to be able to function wherever he is,” Maj. A. from the weapons division