Dr. Ron Schleifer, a lecturer in the School of Communications at the University of Ariel and an expert on psychological warfare, said that the fear of interference by foreign states in Israel's upcoming elections is not new.
"In the previous elections, there was the activity of V15, which tried to create the impression of great support for the left, and did so using computerized means," Dr. Schleifer told Arutz Sheva.
"Even today, there are many elements in the US State Department who are against the Zionist idea, who are already actively [interfering in] the elections in Israel, but it can also be Russia. They have no problem having hundreds of people using social media [to interfere]. The Europeans are also shamelessly interfering through support for all sorts of organizations. [For example,] Germany does this by funding conferences and organizations in Israel."
He noted that it is very easy to interfere in a country's elections online. "People who enter Google do not understand that the results they receive are perhaps only two percent of the information. They receive information that interests them. It is possible through the network to create the impression of broader support for a particular candidate. In the past, they would buy an ad in the paper and sign "Citizens Supporters X", although in practice it was only one person. Today it's easier and cheaper. No need to buy advertising space in the newspaper. You can also create tiny programs that grow on their own and pretend to be a person with an identity who is conducting a dialogue with yourself."
"The computer world is hackable and even if you secure your computer in all the possible firewalls, all you have to do is open an e-mail and you expose your computer to all kinds of spyware."
According to Dr. Schleifer, the various parties are also aware of the technological tools and how they are best used. "For some reason, Likud has the image of a technologically-challenged party, while Yair Lapid has the image of the peak of technology. It's just not true."