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February 23, 2015 6:45 pm

Israeli Air Force Training Exercise Simulated ‘Alien Attack’

avatar by David Daoud

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An IAF training exercise identified "aliens" as the enemy. PHOTO: The Aviationist

In a scene taken from the Hollywood blockbuster Independence Day, the Israeli Air Force conducted training against an “alien attack” on Sunday night, Israel’s Channel 2 reported. The training exercise was carried out by the technological unit “Ofek [Horizon].”

“This was an exercise in hacking into the Air Force’s security systems,” said a military source. “The scenario was that aliens are attacking  the Air Force’s cyber systems.”

According to the IDF’s website, teams of technicians and developers from the Unit tried to hack into the computer system, in order to “walk in the enemy’s shoes” for a day. One of the objectives was for the software developers to discover the potential weaknesses, a knowledge-base developed through the personal experience of hacking the system themselves.

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“The exercise’s participants were busy developing operations plans for the Air Force,” said the engineering unit’s commander, Lt. Col. Meyer. “The goal was to make them understand the importance of developing the proper protections. We decided to adjust the exercise to the tastes of Generation Y, which loves challenges. So we developed this scenario of an alien attack.”

The head of the cyber division, Major Gil said, “during the exercise, teams competed with each other to hack into the system that we built for them. Within that, they also tried to gather intelligence on alien spacecraft to move forward in the hacking process. Of course, if the scenario had any parallels in reality, we’d want the soldiers to know the importance of protecting the secrets of the Air Force’s operations.”

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