Israel army unveils new cyber defence unit

    By IANS,

    Jerusalem: The Israeli military has offered a peek into one of its most secretive bases, which houses a newly established unit tasked with defending its own networks against mounting cyberspace attacks.

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    Teams of programmers and computer experts, aged 18-22, man the “Cyber War Room,” situated at an undisclosed site in central Israel, where malicious cybernetic activities occurring worldwide are monitored around the clock, Xinhua reported Monday.

    “Cyber isn’t just another means, but a dimension that exists all the time between and during wars,” Brig. Gen. Ayala Hakim, commander of the Israeli Defense Forces’s (IDF) Lotam Unit, which oversees cyberdefense operations, told an Israeli TV channel.

    Israel is investing vast human and financial resources in defending against the immediate threat posed by computer network attacks launched daily on its strategic infrastructure, government ministries, military and intelligence community.

    The fear is that a major cyberattack could cripple the country’s critical infrastructure, including utilities, banking and cellphone networks, among others.

    The government has revealed it deflected a staggering 44 million attacks on its main online sites during a nine-day war with Islamist group Hamas in Gaza last November.