Israel is using its civilian technological advances to enhance cyberwarfare capabilities, the senior Israeli spymaster said on Tuesday in a rare public disclosure about the secret program.
Using computer networks for espionage — by hacking into databases — or to carry out sabotage through so-called “malicious software” planted in sensitive control systems has been quietly weighed in Israel against arch-foes like Iran.
In a policy address, Major-General Amos Yadlin, chief of military intelligence, listed vulnerability to hacking among national threats that also included the Iranian nuclear project, Syria and Islamist guerrillas along the Jewish state’s borders.
Yadlin said Israeli armed forces had the means to provide network security and launch cyber attacks of their own.
“I would like to point out in this esteemed forum that the cyberwarfare field fits well with the state of Israel’s defense doctrine,” he told the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a Tel Aviv University think tank.
“This is an enterprise that is entirely blue and white (Israeli) and does not rely on foreign assistance or technology. It is a field that is very well known to young Israelis, in a country that was recently crowned a ‘start-up nation’.”