While countries develop very deadly weapons, some non-conventional, some of these countries also develop silent agents, deception tools that at the end of the day may result in leaving the triggers unsqueezed. This is true in the context of full scale wars, urban fighting and terror acts.
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. These reports served as a very rare indication to the “parallel war” fought in the dark and far from any defined war zone.
In recent years the Lebanese claimed that the Israelis penetrated their cellular infrastructure and that this was part of a vast espionage effort.
Press reports about documents leaked to Wikileaks claimed that the attack on the nuclear facility in Syria in 2007 , was performed by Israel and that the Israeli air force fighter jets penetrated the Syrian airspace after Israel managed to take control of the country’s early warning system. The nuances are important – not blinding the Syrian radar but taking control over it, in a way that it did not have any chance of detecting the Israeli fighters.
One thing is clear – there is a need to manipulate the enemy, deceive it, cause confusion and then attack and get out without meeting any resistance.
The next paragraph is very general on purpose, and is based on adding Israel is a high tech super power. The Israeli defense forces (IDF) and the Mossad , have 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 can be assumed that like in other areas, the Israeli need resulted in top technologies and ones that cannot be purchased in the market.
There is no doubt – cyber wars are fought in the Middle East on a daily basis and they are becoming more complex, more sophisticated and more focused.
While the Israeli defense industries continue to manufacture the most advanced weapon systems, experts in the new type of warfare are looking for the next hole in the shield. This is a war between minds, between “wild” concepts that are based on long experience but also on the fact that the most advanced national facilities of every country rely on computers. The “fire walls” are there but the new warriors look for the smallest crack and to believe recent report they find them.
Can cyber attacks win a war? Can these attacks become a substitute to real weapon systems?
Talking with the experts you get a somewhat contradicting picture – while some say that this is the shape of wars to come, others say that this is only a complementary asset.
But one thing is obvious – the highest is the importance of the designated target, the bigger is the effort put into the “cyber weapons”.