IDF Cyber Defense Unit surrounds Israel in virtual protective field

An elite IDF cyber defense unit foiled an attempted Iranian attack several months ago, a report revealed on Thursday.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The C4i Corps, an IDF cyber defense branch, foiled an attempted Iranian cyberattack several months ago, a report by Israel Hayom revealed on Thursday.

The event comes on the heels of another recent Iranian cyberattack, targeting Israel’s civilian water system.

The latest incident, which was classified until now, was an attempt by the Iranian regime to infiltrate and disrupt the IDF’s supply chain.

The supply chain connects the IDF to essential services it receives from civilian bodies, like food and fuel. Successfully infiltrating the supply chain may have given Iran critical information about operating procedures, facilities, and specific companies.

The Cyber Defense Unit, which operates under the umbrella of C4i, detected the attack and worked for days to foil it, while determining who was behind it.

“We are everywhere. From the fiber optic cables to the satellite, from the homefront base to the soldier on the front line,” Colonel R, commander of the code, encryption, and security unit of C4i, told Israel Hayom.

“We protect the systems so that nobody can virtually infiltrate the IDF.”

The Cyber Defense Unit was established four years ago. Based in a civilian office building in Tel Aviv without any official signage, the unit purposely keeps a low profile.

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The unit’s primary roles are to ensure the safety and security of the IDF’s internal telecommunications networks, to enable the IDF to operate its virtual activities smoothly both in peacetime and in wartime, and to help maintain the IDF’s world-leading status in the military technology and cyber activities sphere.

The IDF considers the Cyber Defense Unit to be a combat unit in every sense of the word. The unit constantly performs “penetration tests,” in which soldiers from the unit attempt to hack IDF systems to test for security issues and possible blind spots.

The unit also ensures the integrity of IDF equipment manufactured abroad. Fighter jets and submarines manufactured outside of Israel could potentially be fitted with tracking technology during the production phase, and the Cyber Defense Unit ensures that all equipment used by the IDF is safe, from an IT security perspective.