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By Arie Egozi
While Israel is getting ready to a possible attack from Gaza or Lebanon, the silent war is around the corner and in many cases – right here. The threat is real and imminent. A cyber attack on Israeli infrastructure may include air traffic control (ATC) installations. In recent months, Israel has been under a constant cyber attack and the government has ordered the General Security Service to take every step needed to counter those attacks.
The National Cyber Defence Authority (NCDA) unit, which is responsible for protecting Israel’s national infrastructures against cyber attacks, will assume protection of banks and mobile carriers. Sources said that the air traffic control is also included in the list. But it seems that the “real threats” consume more efforts than are aimed to foil them.
Israeli officials consider the cyber attacks as an act of war and some were quoted saying that “an enemy should be treated like an enemy”. This means that the proper Israeli organizations will try and locate the source of the attacks, and make an effort to neutralize it. Neutralize is a clean word for a major counterattack, either with cyber tools or, when possible, with more traditional weapons – short, long and very long range ones.
As it seems now, this is an all-out war and the concerns are high as signs prove that vital national installations have been targeted almost daily.
The Israeli ATC system works very closely with that of the Israeli Air Force (IAF). Therefore, any attempt to disrupt one of them will affect the other and may cause chaos according to “very extreme scenarios”.
So there must be a more comprehensive effort to mobilize all the assets at Israel’s disposal in order to defend the Israeli vital systems, including its ATC system, from an organized or sporadic cyber attack.
What is very clear is that much of the budget funding that was traditionally channeled to the deployment of advanced systems aimed at defending Israel from attacks either by missiles, rockets or enemy aircraft, will be rerouted now to the new cyber war.