Nearly half a million people check out Shin Bet tech challenge

According to the Shin Bet, 34 people have solved the challenge as of Tuesday on three different paths to the solution.

The homepage of the new Shin Bet challenge  (photo credit: screenshot)
The homepage of the new Shin Bet challenge
(photo credit: screenshot)
There have been around 487,000 page views from 139 countries of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) challenge since it launched a special website seeking to widen its search for local, innovative start-up solutions last week.
As of Tuesday, 34 people have solved the challenge using three possible approaches to the solution, the Shin Bet said.
Twenty-seven people passed the full integrated challenge, six passed the full challenge, and one has passed the grave challenge, though the agency said all the challenges are extremely difficult.
Among the 139 countries from which the site has been viewed, 83 people were from the Gaza Strip, three from Iran, three from Saudi Arabia and others from a range of countries, with the largest viewer segments coming from the US, Russia and England.
The “Shabak Challenge” 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.”
The Shin Bet site says the agency 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.
The challenge consists of a number of stages that require familiarity with advanced technology – hardware and software.
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 ways to innovate 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 program.
The incubator is intended for early-stage entrepreneurs who can offer 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 last week.

The Shin Bet,
Israel’s domestic intelligence service, and the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, have both been more active in publicly seeking to recruit technological talent and start-ups to work on customized technological solutions in recent years.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.