Israel: Shabak Creates Cyber-Combat Division – OpEd

Not to be outdone by the IDF, which has Unit 8200; and Mossad, which just launched its own cyber-terror capability; Israel’s domestic spy agency, the Shabak, just launched its own cyber-combat unit.

It’s done so in what the agency believes is a playful, humorous mode by creating customized, mock video game sites.  They feature a scenario in which an agent is in jeopardy and you (presumably the cyber-geek who’ll be challenged by this mission and later seek to join Shabak) are tasked with finding and rescuing him. The game seems to me pitched to a teenager rather than an adult.  But I don’t presume any great interest in the field of computer games.  So what do I know?

Shabak’s website announces scores of open positions in the fields of computer engineering, infrastructure, development, research, intelligence-operations, and technology students (presumably interns of some sort).  Here is a small excerpt of specific jobs listed:

  • Social Network Ninja: research, characterization and implementation of tools and systems for collecting and extracting information from social networks and [mobile] applications
  • Virtualization: planning, launching and maintaining large visualization environments based on VMware (this position would, among other things, assist in assassination operations)
  • Big Data/infrastructure: specializing in information storage and retrieval over relational and non-relational databases, while designing infrastructure solutions, intended to develop and maintain systems accessibility
  • Vulnerability researcher: someone searching for coding vulnerabilities, thus permitting Shabak to exploit them. Job requirements include experience in an élite military technology unit (i.e. Unit 8200); and the ability to exploit security breaches
  • Vulnerability researcher: Performing penetration tests, performing cyber exercises
  • Operations Fighter: performing secret missions
  • Director of biotechnology projects: requiring experience in the fields of molecular biology and genetic engineering

The division’s mission is portrayed here:

The Technology Group in Shabak is responsible for providing innovative, breakthrough solutions for all units in the fields of technology and cyberspace. This is a unique group working round the clock, using the most advanced technologies to produce infrastructure and operations solutions.

The work environment is young, dynamic, and professional and especially enables the [candidates] to develop and influence the directions of work and the technology of tomorrow.

Employees of the Group require a high level of professionalism and always being at the forefront in technology, at least one step ahead of the opponent.

If you are looking for technology with Meaning – You belong with us!

Think how many hundreds of millions of dollars will be budgeted (i.e. wasted) by the Israeli government and taxpayers to hire these hundreds of new cyber-warriors who will conceive ever more “ingenious” methods of making war on the captive Palestinian population.  Creating ever more innovative ways of alienating them from Israel and drawing the two sides ever farther from ever being able to achieve a compromise.

Though I’ve said this far too many times before, it always bears repeating: this is the epitome of the national security state.  The modern nation as a garrison state prepared perpetually for war and seeking enemies everywhere.  Technology is just a new toy to exploit in this seemingly eternal game Israel plays with its future.

This article was published at Tikun Olam.


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Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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