IDF soldiers engaged in cyber security 370.
(photo credit: yadlashiryon.com)
Efforts by Israel’s enemies to gather intelligence on the IDF have increased
recently particularly by use of signal intelligence capabilities, a senior
Military Intelligence officer warned on Monday.
The officer said that
Israel’s adversaries were using technology available on the civilian market for
intelligence- gathering purposes. The focus was on various military
communication systems as well as cyber space.
“We are seeing an
improvement by the other side in its ability to gather intelligence,” the
officer said. “They can buy civilian equipment to gather intelligence and there
is also the ability of a number of groups with varying capabilities to work
Due to the increase in the perceived threat, the IDF
Information Security Unit embarked Monday on a new campaign aimed at raising
awareness throughout the military and among reservists of the need to protect
information obtained in the military.
“The potential for information to
leak from the IDF is increasing and the challenge to safeguard a secret is
greater,” the officer said, noting for example the use of social media sites by
soldiers and reservists.
Access to the Internet, the officer said, posed
a major challenge since it enabled soldiers to simply take information – even if
not maliciously – and post it online. As an example, the officer referred to a
recent case when a soldier posted on his Facebook page that his unit was
planning an operation that night in a specific Palestinian village in the West
The IDF had to cancel the operation.
The officer said that
the Information Security Unit, a part of Military Intelligence, frequently
listened to conversations on military networks and tracked email correspondence
with non-military elements to ensure that sensitive information does not
He said that the unit recently appointed Information Security
officers to units – mostly in the field – which did not traditionally have such
an officer within its ranks. In other units, officers with existing jobs were
trained to also be in charge of ensuring information security within their
Despite the increased threat, the officer said that the IDF was
expecting to move forward with plans to replace all of the civilian mobile
phones in use by officers and career servicemen with smart phones. Distribution
of the new phones will begin in the coming weeks.
He said that the
military would be stricter in enforcing rules with regards to the use of the new
phones and their exclusion from classified meetings. He also said that the
Information Security Unit had developed the ability to block cellular coverage
from certain areas if needed when classified discussions were taking place in