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Israel to Establish Cyber Warfare Administration

As cyber terrorism becomes more of a threat, the Defense Ministry is planning to establish a special cyber warfare administration.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 1/13/2012, 9:32 PM

The Israeli Defense Ministry is to establish a special cyber warfare administration, the Israel Defense website is reporting.

The new administration will coordinate the efforts of security agencies and the Israeli defense industry in developing advanced systems to deal with cyber warfare, the report said.

The decision to establish the new administration was made even before the recent exposure by hackers of credit card details of Israelis, and details about it were published in the printed version of Israel Defense last week.

While it has not yet been decided who will head the new cyber warfare administration, security officials told Israel Defense that the decision to establish one “will take the field to a new place.”

The report noted that currently, there are no clear lines which define who deals with various areas related to cyber warfare, but the intention is to assist the security industry to increase its efforts in the field.

Overnight Thursday, hackers broke into the Israel Fire and Rescue Services website put up anti-Israel text and images.

The hackers, who identified themselves as the Gaza Hacker Team, also posted a photo of an armed Palestinian Authority Arab and below it wrote, “Why do you not understand that this is an embarrassing situation for you and that you cannot get out of it? Danny Ayalon said that Israel will respond to hacking of Israeli sites. We break into your sites every day and will continue to do so without interruption.”

They also posted a picture of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon with signs of shoe soles. Under the picture they posted a text in Arabic which read, “Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and all the Palestinian factions will fight your army. All prisoners will be released from your prisons. Freedom for Palestine.” They also wrote “Death to Israel” in red Hebrew letters.

Earlier this week, Ayalon’s site was itself breached by hackers, who but didn’t manage to do much more than put a 30-minute dent in the site's defenses. Ayalon’s site was back up and running normally within half an hour.

Major Gen. (Res.) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel of the Tel Aviv University said a few months ago that every day hundreds of cyber attacks are launched on Israel, and warned that the number may increase to thousands in an emergency.

Prof. Ben-Israel has led a team that submitted recommendations to the Israeli government on how to prepare for the threat of cyber attacks. The team’s recommendations included, among others, appointing a national consultant on cyber threats, establishing national headquarters for formulating a policy and monitoring its implementation, and establishing research centers in academia while increasing cooperation between the government, the academia and the industry.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)