Israel’s Iron Dome Automatically Intercepts Incoming Gaza Rockets

Great video of Israel’s new “Iron Dome” system intercepting an incoming rocket fired from Gaza. Israel’s three portable anti-rocket batteries have been very busy indeed the last few days as they have intercepted about 170 inbound rockets that targeted Israeli cities. So far the Iron Dome’s successful intercept rate is above 90%, and no Israeli civilians have been killed.

With the threat of a nuclear Iran and constant rocket attacks, it is more important now than ever to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Psalm 122:6 – “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.

What are Cyber-Weapons?

“What are cyber-weapons? Instruments of code-borne attack span a wide spectrum, from generic but low-potential tools to specific but high-potential weaponry. This distinction brings into relief a two-pronged hypothesis that stands in stark contrast to some of the received wisdom on cyber-security.

Maximizing the destructive potential of a cyber-weapon is likely to come with a double effect: it will significantly increase the resources, intelligence and time required for development and deployment – and more destructive potential is likely to decrease the number of targets, the risk of collateral damage and the political utility of cyber-weapons…”

Cyber-Weapons” by Dr. Thomas Rid & Peter McBurney

Dr. Thomas Rid (War Studies, King’s College London) has published another exceptional article on cyber warfare. This publication, titled “Cyber-Weapons” is inspired by some of the feedback from his recently published article, “Cyber War Will Not Take Place.”

In this publication, Dr. Rid continues to expand on what constitutes a weapon, and how this relates to the terms and technologies of Cyber War. As with his previous article, this is a very refreshing and enlightening look at past and current cyber events. Dr. Rid masterfully separates the truth about cyber weapons and their capabilities from common misconceptions.

One section of the article that really captured my attention was the discussion of next generation Stuxnet type code called “Learning Weapons”. Cyber Weapons that can learn on the fly. They will observe and evaluate the environment autonomously and then take a course of action on their own.

This is an excellent read and definitely worth your time.

In the days and hours leading up to the afternoon of 19 March 2011, air force planners in France, Britain, and several other NATO countries were frantically preparing an imminent bombing campaign against military targets in Libya. In Washington on that same March weekend an unusual discussion took place between the Department of Defense and the White House. Should America deploy its cyber arsenal against Libya’s air defence system? After the Pentagon’s generals and geeks had briefed the president on the options, he decided that, No, the time was not ripe for cyber weapons…

Cyber-Weapons” – Check it out!

(Thomas Rid & Peter McBurney (2012): Cyber-Weapons, The RUSI Journal, 157:1, 6-13)

Cyber Attack Civil Defense Drills

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.