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Netanyahu Boasts of Israel's Cyber Intelligence

At Israel’s Cyber Week 2019 being held at Tel Aviv University, Prime Minister Netanyahu boasted that Israel learned of and was able to stop an attacker from hijacking a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi because of the country’s cyber-intelligence capabilities, according to today’s press release.

“We alerted the Australian police, and they were able to prevent it. If you multiply that times 50, that would give you an idea of the contribution that Israel has made in protecting against terrorist activities, and most of those contributions were made with cybersecurity,” Netanyahu reportedly said.

“Israel has invested more than any other country proportionally,” he continued. “We invest vast sums of money, probably #2 in the western world, in our military intelligence, which goes to the army, the Mossad, to the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] and to other arms as well. We have created an enormous investment in human capital, people, who can deal with the internet, can deal with the ramifications of this revolution, both as workers and as entrepreneurs.”

Recognizing the challenges that Israel had to overcome to become a competitor in industries that require large-scale operations, Netanyahu spoke of the benefits of collaboration, adding, “We’re encouraging international associations. We have today unbelievable cooperation, first with our great and irreplaceable ally the USA, we’re collaborating on cybersecurity and on many other things.” 

Following Netanyahu, Yigal Unna, director general of the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) took to the stage, stressing, "Iran and its proxies continue to pose a main cyber threat on the Middle East. Israel is prepared for cyber-threats and we have the capability to respond forcefully to cyber-attackers.”

Reporting on a survey conducted by INDC, in which more than 300 companies across Israel participated, Unna noted that 68% of companies reported that they had experienced at least one attempted or actual cyber-attack in the past year; however, in the majority (63%) of those incidents, the organizations said they incurred no damage. 

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