IEC Chairman: Israel not prepared for cyber threat

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yiftach Ron-Tal says possible that enemies have already installed viruses on Israeli control systems, waiting for attack.

September 7, 2011 10:31
1 minute read.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yiftah Ron Tal

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yiftah Ron Tal_311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The cyber threat to Israel is growing and the country is not adequately prepared to defend and confront the threat it faces to its military and civilian infrastructure, Israel Electric Corporation chairman Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yiftach Ron-Tal warned on Wednesday.

“We are not yet where we need to be as a country and everyone needs to be dealing with this from the prime minister and down,” Ron-Tal, former head of the IDF’s Ground Forces Command, said Wednesday during the Fifth Latrun conference at the Zvi Meitar Institute for Land Warfare.

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He warned that Israel needed to prepare for the possibility that its enemies have already succeeded in installing viruses inside computer systems that control military and civilian infrastructure.

He praised the IDF for moving forward with programs to digitize divisions, brigades and battalions but also warned that due to the cyber threat, the military needed to ensure that its battalion commanders had the necessary skills to operate even without their digital maps and network- based command-andcontrol systems.

“Israel is under a threat and we could already have experienced a silent infiltration that will be activated when the enemy wants,” Ron-Tal said. “We need to be prepared for the possibility that critical infrastructure will be paralyzed.”

Referring specifically to the Israel Electric Corp., Ron-Tal said that Israel’s electrical grid was run by what he called “one big computer.”

“The electrical grid in Israel is essentially one big computer, and if there is a big problem we need to be able to detect infiltrations, have intelligence about potential attacks and know how to contain the infiltration, minimize the damage and take back control,” he said.

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