Operators in the Israel Navy cyber control room.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IDF Cyber Defense units joined 20 groups from Israel and around the world last week at the IDefense competition, and took part in simulating responses to a highly unusual scenario: an alien attack on Earth.
The units were asked to launch mock attacks on the ‘alien’ communication networks, defenses, and attack capabilities at the event, held at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
“The cyber dimension is growing stronger from day to day, and with it, the IDF’s dependence on the use of networks,” said Chief Communications Officer Brig.-Gen. Eyal Zelinger.
“Threats are growing along with the cyber dimension, and the IDF’s professionalism in the sphere of cyber defense will grow too. In order to develop these skills, we hold such competitions,” he said.
On a daily basis, the IDF’s cyber defense warriors track the military’s extensive networks, searching for threat detection and readying responses. But during the team competition at the IDefense event, they practiced attacks, including ones against “an enemy that has come to destroy the Earth,” the IDF said on its official website.
“The most significant difficulty in this scenario is changing the way we think. I defend the whole time, and suddenly I have to get into the head of the attacker,” a soldier, Sgt. Z., who took part in the competition said.
“This is a 180 degree revolution compared to what we are used to doing. But it’s clear to us that this is critical. If we don’t know how the attacker thinks, we can’t preempt his actions in real time.
In the cyber world, it is important to prevent incidents before they occur,” Sgt. Z. added.