Shin Bet Head Nadav Argaman spoke this morning, Tuesday, at the cyber conference taking place at Tel Aviv University, addressing Israel’s war against terror on the cyber front.
“Just as in the real world we don’t settle for passive defense but pursue terror wherever it is found, neither do we do so on the cyber front. We learn the enemy’s patterns of action, and know how to strike him in a variety of ways,” he said.
He said that hackers around the world trying to harm Israel periodically experience unexpected malfunctions. “Last year the Shin Bet worked with its partners in the intelligence and cybersecurity communities against a variety of challenges: threats from superpowers, terror organizations, and independent hackers.”
“To combat these threats, we undertook dozens of sophisticated successful operations. Nevertheless, given the deceptive characteristics of the cyber world, we should remain modest and cautious regarding our ability to get a complete picture about what is going on.”
Argaman emphasized that, in the cyber world, “integrativeness” is the name of the game. “We work against our enemies through ‘cyber coalitions’ including participation with the IDF, Mossad, Cyber Authority, Defense Ministry, and more. The Shin Bet holds a working relationship with intelligence agencies from around the world, and it is correct to make use of knowledge and experience acquired against terror threats being dealt with today in western countries.”
He said that, “Using high-quality intelligence from our cyber network, many terrorist attacks have already been thwarted. Success in locating a lone attacker is a huge challenge. Despite the complications involved, the Shin Bet, together with its partners, has successfully identified since the beginning of 2016 over 2,000 potential lone-wolf threats in advance.”
“Groundbreaking technological improvements together with operational know-how and efforts contributed greatly to lowering the amount of terror attacks and the State of Israel’s success against the threat of lone-wolf attackers.”
Argaman said that the Shin Bet now finds itself at the peak of an organizational revolution at whose center stands the integration of all the technological fields with the cyber sphere. “The result is a strong and centralized technological arm. The power of this arm stems from the integration of disciplines: the different cyber fields with the fields in classical technology developing with the organization since the day it was founded. The Shin Bet’s cyber and technology network is an endless startup.”
“We are successful in executing all this due to the caliber of our human capital. Even now, over a quarter of the employees of the organization are technology people: hackers, programmers, cybersecurity experts, electrical engineers, and more. We are looking to bring in the best hackers as part of the struggle against cyber challenges from all our enemies, with an emphasis on countries and superpowers.”