These are the silent agents. They do not explode in a big bang and flames. They are aimed at deception that at the end of the day may result in leaving the triggers unsqueezed. In that context the issue may be a major war or just planned terror attack.
According to recent press reports, Israel has managed to slow down the Iranian race to the bomb, by using a “worm” type computer virus that caused havoc in the Iranian centrifuge facilities that are working to produce the needed uranium for a nuclear weapon.
Israel has not reacted to the stories that claimed who was behind that cyber attack, but the Iranians had to confirm that the “worm” was very effective in slowing down their nuclear program.
This story is a very rare indication to the “parallel war” fought in the dark and far from any defined war zone. The Lebanese government has in the last four years claimed that Israel has penetrated the country’s cellular infrastructure and that this was part of a vast espionage effort.
All the above as I said are press reports that we cannot check. One thing is a solid fact – Israel is a high tech super power. The Israeli defense forces (IDF) and the Mossad has special units that develop tools for cyber wars. These units are trying to be at least one step ahead of anyone else that is considered, and may be considered, a potential enemy.
It makes sense that the need to supply the right tools for Cyber war for the armed forces and secret services, resulted in positioning Israel at least one generation ahead of its adversaries. There is no doubt – cyber wars are fought in the Middle East on a daily basis and they are becoming more complex, more sophisticated, more focused. Part of the “trick” in such military cyber wars, is to let the enemy think that nothing happens.
Can cyber attacks win a war or foil terror attacks? Can these attacks become a substitute to real weapon systems? There is no clear answer but that is because no one that really knows wants to share his knowledge with others that are not in his “group”. But one thing is obvious – the importance of the designated target, determines the effort put into the “cyber weapons”.
Israel allegedly is developing the “Silent Agents” that will affect the systems of potential aggressors, but Israel has to defend itself from Cyber attacks and that is already a national well defined effort. The “weapons” of this new type of war are being developed in secret facilities and by teams of geniuses that will probably never hold an assault rifle, but will in spite win many wars.
In the Middle East, cyber wars are no longer something vague. In the Middle East- cyber wars are part of the everyday fighting. This is true when the enemy is a country or when it is a terror organization.