The homepage of the new Shin Bet challenge .
(photo credit: screenshot)
In an effort to recruit new intelligence agents with technological experience, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) – also known as the Shabak – has launched a new website called the “Shabak Challenge”.
The site is accessible at www.israelneedsu.com
and challenges visitors to identify a group of terrorists known as the “White September” group.
“They are connected to the global Jihadist movement, and are funded by Iran and Hezbollah,” the site claims. “Several weeks ago, they used the darknet to declare their intentions of carrying out a mega terror attack in Israel. They nicknamed the operation ‘Israeli September 11th’. These people are highly sophisticated and utterly merciless.”
According to the site, the Shabak has received “a tip that some of the terrorists have already infiltrated the country. Our agents have launched an operation to halt them before they can carry out their plot.”
Visitors are then asked to click on a screen beneath a banner reading: “The State of Israel needs your help” if they want to participate in the challenge. According to Channel 2, some 150,000 people from across the globe have already visited the site but by Thursday morning only two had succeeded in solving the challenge.
Visitors have reportedly come from the United States, Russia, France and the United Kingdom as well as from the Gaza Strip, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
The challenge consists of a number of stages that require familiarity with advanced technology – hardware and software.
The challenge comes as the Shin Bet seeks to widen its search
for local, innovative start-up solutions. Following a successful first round of investments this year by the joint Shin Bet-Tel Aviv University Ventures incubator program “The Xcelerator”, Israel’s domestic security service is now seeking further innovation in a broader range of fields.
A joint committee featuring representatives from the Shin Bet and TAU Ventures will identify nine start-ups to join the four-month incubator program. The incubator is intended for early-stage entrepreneurs with proof of technological feasibility but who are not necessarily focused on the security market.
“We believe in the strength of the Israeli technological industry, in entrepreneurs [and] in exceptional abilities and products, which already have an impact on the Shin Bet’s capabilities and its work toward the security of the state,” Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman said at a TAU conference this week.
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