Friday, October 7th | 12 Tishri 5783

January 17, 2012 12:28 pm

It’s Time to Get Serious About Cyberwarfare

avatar by Ron Agam

El Al Boeing 707. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Something very disturbing happened to one of the most security conscious countries in the world recently. Something that reveals the profound vulnerability of open societies that rely heavily on Internet technology.

In Israel, technology has been a bastion of investment, opportunity, and economic reward over the past decade, but events of the last few days are of another variety and they deserve special attention. Some of the countries main institutions have witnessed a severe breach of security, including the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al Airlines, apparently provoked by a Saudi Arabian hacker.

Whether it is a single hacker or a community of them, the results of these attacks have been successful. The shock coming from security personnel has been so profound that an emergency meeting was called by the Israeli parliament to analyze and study strategies to counter-attack these occurrences. Deputy Foreign minister Ayalon has called for the establishment of a secret unit devoted solely to guard the sovereignty and security of Israeli cyberspace.

The Israeli government will be calling on a team of internet experts specializing in network security to help draft policy aimed at preventing the effectiveness of similar acts in the future. Some experts in the field have said a solution to this problem will take at least 2 years.

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Individual enemies are capable of harming the national interest of sovereign nations and the war fought in cyber space appears to be extremely complex, with major consequences to National security.

We cannot underestimate the potential damages created by armies of sophisticated hackers, employed by enemies of the state, to damage western democracies. It is frightening to think about a successful cyber attack which simultaneously damages our electric and energy infrastructures – pipelines, electric power stations, atomic facilities, financial and banking centers and the list goes on.

Governments must act accordingly.

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