A senior Israeli security official has revealed that, during Operation Protective Edge, the Iranian regime and other hostile agents mounted major cyber attacks on Israeli targets, including security and financial institutions.
The IDF’s cyber defense division quickly and effectively countered the attack, but the scale of it indicated a serious investment by Israel’s enemies in the field of cyber warfare.
According to IDF sources, the cyber clash was unprecedented. “Today, they’re organizing much more quickly, and it takes them much less time to carry out powerful strikes,” Col. N said.
“During Operation Protective Edge, we saw attacks on a greater scale and on a more sophisticated level. A significant amount of thought and investment stood behind the attacks we saw.”
But the Israeli response was also on a new level. “It wasn’t like this in previous operations,” said Col. N, who heads the army’s cyber defense division. “For the first time, there was an organized cyber defense effort alongside combat operations in the field. This was a new reality.”
The attackers did have some successes. At one point, they managed to post a false message on the IDF network claiming that the atomic reactor at Dimona had been hit by a rocket and there was a danger of radioactive leakage.
Israel continues to arm itself against cyber attack, including nightmare scenarios such as attempts to hack the military’s computer system to gain control of its own armed drones and use them to attack Israel.
“There is a significant amount of development in the cyber field,” Colonel N. explained. “This is a field that [these groups] are already involved in … and all of these groups share information.”
“I won’t be surprised if, next time, we meet [terrorists] in the cyber dimension,” he said.