IDF officer rules out reported intelligence exposure

The IDF logo. Credit: IDF.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to A senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer has denied a recent report that U.S. and British intelligence services have monitored secret communications by the Israeli Air Force in a hacking operation dating back to 1998.

In a briefing to the press on Tuesday, the senior officer denied the report’s findings, saying that “none of the IDF’s encoded transmissions were intercepted, and our code remains unbreached.”

Discussing the IDF’s security systems, the officer noted that none of the tests conducted by the army revealed the presence of a superpower in its classified networks, although that did not mean such a presence could be ruled out entirely. Meanwhile, the IDF’s Computer Service Directorate believes it is unlikely that “delayed offensive measures”—or pre-deployed threats waiting to be activated—are hiding in the IDF’s systems.

“In 2015, the number of cyberattacks across the globe decreased, possibly due to the nuclear deal with Iran that was coming together,” the officer said.

But towards the end of 2015 and now in 2016, “cyberattacks have become a legitimate tool,” said the officer. Two significant attacks have been documented. In November, the Internet in Turkey was disabled for 20 hours after Ankara shot down a Russian plane, and one-third of Ukraine’s power stations were shut down for a week. The IDF officer declined to deliberate on the identity of the attacker behind those incidents.

Posted on February 17, 2016 .