The Shin Bet has used online cyberinvestigation techniques to prevent at least 2,000 “lone wolf” terror attacks, by terrorists who acted on their own and were not necessarily part of an organized terror cell, over the past year and a half, Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman said in Tel Aviv Tuesday.
Argaman was speaking at an event discussing cybersecurity at Tel Aviv University. “Over the past year, we, along with our colleagues in the intelligence and cybersecurity community, have been dealing with some of the the biggest challenges in the field,” he said.
Using cyberinvestigation techniques to prevent terror attacks involves deep analysis of conversations, email exchanges, and trends in social media, as well as connections in the hacker community – and the Shin Bet has developed a staff that is adept at dealing with these matters, Argaman said.
“We have carried out dozens of successful operations in this area, but given the personality and challenges of the cyberworld, it is best that we remain modest regarding our capabilities.”
With that, he said, the Shin Bet’s cyberteam – at least a third of the organization’s employees work on cybersecurity issues – have “prevented many terror attacks. Finding the individual who is planning on carrying out such attacks is very complicated, but together with our partners, with the help of advanced technology, we have uncovered over 2,000 potential ‘lone wolf’ attacks” in Israel and elsewhere. “[The available] technological capabilities, together with our ability to ‘read’ the situation in the field, have contributed greatly to the reduction of terror and the ability of Israel to keep such threats at bay.”
With that, Israelis should not feel smug, Argaman said. “We still face many challenges.
“In cybersecurity, the only way to work successfully is as part of a coalition, which we maintain with all security forces in Israel and many abroad. We have excellent working relations with organizations and colleagues around the world, who mutually help each other in dealing with the common threats that all Western countries face.”