Back in the 1950’s and 60’s most public schools practiced nuclear attack drills. You know, the siren goes off and you climb underneath your desk, covered your heads and kissed your butt goodbye. Anyone remember those? When I was in elementary in the 70s they no longer did this type of drill. The siren would go off and we would line up in perfect rows and walk outside and stand in the parking lot. No hiding under desks for us, nope, we would show the enemy that we were not afraid, one last great act of defiance. Or maybe it was the desks were no longer being made in America at that time and people figured why bother…
All right, kidding aside, during the Russia-Georgia conflict, cyber warfare was part of the Russian strategy to hinder communication and government infrastructure. It would appear that cyber warfare works very well alongside physical force and is becoming a standard instead of an exception in modern conflicts. Currently, militants are attacking Israel using some of the same cyber attacks that Russia used against Georgia. But does this make cyberwar a serious enough threat to be added to defense planning?
Israel believes so and has now added cyber attacks to its civil defense drills. According to an article on Haaretz, 70% of Israel’s population will be participating in a preparedness drill this week. The drill will begin with a simulated rocket attack on Israel. Later, a cyber-attack would be added to the mix:
The “cyber preparedness” part of the exercise will simulate an Internet-based attack on the country’s communications and computer infrastructure, of the type the defense establishment believes hostile elements could mount in a war.
Electronic targets could include mobile phone networks, banks and transportation communications systems, such as those of Israel Railways and Ben-Gurion International Airport. Such attacks took place during Operation Cast Lead, but there was little damage to government computer networks.
In Israel, the Israel Security Agency, or better known as Shin Bet, is responsible for defending the civilian electronic infrastructure. Israel is well known for taking some of its best and brightest students and putting them directly into Military Intelligence. And you just gotta love a security group whose motto is “The Unseen Shield”.
Israel, who is surrounded on every side by nations that hate them, and have attacked them in the past, is taking cyber warfare very seriously. Facing such overwhelming numbers, Israel is in a constant state of readiness and studies the latest forms of attack and defense. Maybe our leaders should stop fighting over if our nation is at cyber war or not and take Israel’s drill as a big heads up.