Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dark 311 (R).
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)
Israel should be a global cyber-power, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said
Thursday during a conference on cyber-warfare at Tel Aviv University, adding
that “we are preparing ourselves” to be a significant player in the new area of
cyber-warfare, Channel 10 reported.
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The conference, whose theme is
“Exploring the cyberwarfare arena from the global, national and technological
aspects, and reviewing threats and best practices,” was organized by Tel Aviv
University’s Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, and
the Institute for National Security Studies.
“Although the field is not
precise... we must enter it...
and become a world cyberpower,” Netanyahu
“This is possible. We’re no longer crawling, we’re
walking, and soon we will be running forward.”
Fast-paced changes in
technology mean that Israel, like all technology-oriented countries, has become
reliant on computers in the fields of transport, aviation, banking, medical care
and defense, Netanyahu said.
“The more computerized we get, the more
vulnerable we become. There is therefore no choice but to deal with this in a
more systematic and focused manner,” he warned, pointing to defense, industry
and science as crucial fields of activity.
Former Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin also addressed the conference.
in an era in which every civilian can be exposed to crimes through their
devices, like cell phones and laptops,” he said.
Diskin added that the
Shin Bet had been tasked by the government to ensure security for electronic
communications, defend against online attacks by terrorist elements and
criminals, and prevent leaks.
The former Shin Bet chief discussed foreign
press reports claiming that China was able to rechannel all Internet traffic
through its servers, adding that further steps were needed to prevent
increasingly sophisticated Internet-based subterfuge.
ongoing bloodshed in Syria, Diskin said Syrian President Bashar Assad had set up
a “virtual army” to tackle online activities directed against his
On Monday, the Institute for National Security Studies released a
new report that said a worldwide cybernetic “arms race” had already begun,
including the establishment of offices and headquarters in various countries
dedicated to this latest battleground.
The study, co-authored by INSS
senior researcher Shmuel Even and senior IDF Intelligence Directorate researcher
David Siman Tov, named the US, Britain, Germany, France and China as some of the
nations busy developing such capabilities.
“The cybernetic sphere is a
new battleground, and joins the land, sea, air and space arenas in modern
warfare,” the report said. “Modern states and advanced militaries are increasing
their activities in the cybernetics sphere, which presents a source of
empowerment, but is also an Achilles heel.”
infrastructure, including electricity, communications, water, transportation and
monetary systems, are based on cybernetics. So are military command and control
networks and advanced battleground technologies, the report noted.