Shin Bet chief: cybertech prevented over 2,000 terror attacks

Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman says extensive cyber intelligence work has thwarted cyber threats and over 2,000 terrorist attacks in the past 18 months.

Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman said at the Cyber Week 2017 conference at Tel Aviv University that his agency and other Israeli intelligence agencies use unspecified technological capabilities to prevent terrorist attacks. Since early 2016 they have stopped 2,000 potential lone-wolf terrorists in Israel and abroad.

The Shin Bet head addressed the growing challenges facing Israel and the world:

“The Shin Bet is dealing with considerable threats, from terrorist organizations to individual hackers. In order to foil these threats, we have carried out dozens of sophisticated and successful operations. Still, given the deceptive nature of the cyber sphere, we have to remain wary about our ability to derive a hermetic picture of this arena,” he said.

Argaman argued that potential terrorism has been greatly reduced due to breakthrough technological advances in cooperation with operational work on the ground. The Shin Bet chief stressed the importance of cross-organizational and international cooperation:

“In cyber, the name of the game is ‘jointness’ and it is the only way to go. We counter our adversaries through a ‘cyber coalition’ that includes cooperation with the IDF, the Mossad, the Cyber Bureau, the Defense Ministry etc., as well as with intelligence organizations around the world. We are ready and willing to assist and share the knowledge and expertise we have in dealing with the threat of terrorism that Western countries are now facing.”

Argaman warned that hostile hackers who consider attacking Israel, should expect surprises.

“We are not only defending, but also attacking hackers in the world,” he said. “Hackers who operate against Israel around the world find they experience unexpected problems.”

“We learn the patterns of activities of the enemy and know how to surprise him with counterattacks in many different ways,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the Tel Aviv conference and talked about Israel’s advances in cyber technology:

“A few years ago, I decided to establish Israel as one of the five leading cyber powers in the world, and I think by all accounts, we’re there,” he said.

Israel’s prominent position in cyber security is bolstered by the presence of several large companies and 400 Israeli startups.

Thomas Bossert, assistant to U.S. President Donald Trump for homeland security and counter-terrorism, informed the audience at the conference about the establishment of a US-Israel bilateral cyber working group.

“The agility Israel has in developing solutions will innovate cyber defenses that we can test here and bring back to America. Perfect security may not be achievable, but we have within our reach a safer and more secure internet,” Bossert said.

By: Daniel Krygier, World Israel News