IDF cyberwarfare
IDF cyberwarfare IDF Blog

A group of IDF cyber cadets from the Israeli Air Force, Navy, and infantry worked to 'Catch em all' in a Pokemon themed training exercise, the IDF announced last week.

The week-long exercise followed the craze last year over the hit mobile game, Pokemon Go.

The cadets were divided into six teams, each representing a different type of Pokemon, such as electricity, the type of franchise mascot Pikachu.

The teams were tasked to 'catch all of the Pokemon' by marking flags hidden in their systems. The first team to catch all Pokemon would be declared the winner.

In addition, the teams had to fight off cyber-attacks by 'Team Rocket,' a team of IDF cyber trainers which attempted to steal the cadets Pokemon, just like the villains of the Pokemon anime.

“The exercise is designed to mimic a real large scale cyber attack,” said Lt. Roi, commander of the cyber officers training course. “The attacks are based on real attacks that have taken place around the world. The soldiers need to defend the network against the attack, eliminate the threat, understand how they were attacked, and then restore the network to normal.”

The exercise was the first of its kind to include attacks on the systems through mobile devices such as smartphones.

“The biggest threat we face is something called ‘ransomware,’ in which an attacker convinces a user to click on a link, which then downloads malware covertly on the user’s system,” said Lt. Roi. “The entire world is dealing with this right now.”

“Things were able to change in a moment, just like in the real world. The attackers were able to get their hands on the code and make changes. The defenders had to rapidly adapt their techniques,” said Lt. Roi.

The IDF Cyber Command was established in 2015 to oversea all of Israel's capabilities in cyber-warfare.