Shin Bet head says over 2,000 terror attacks thwarted with cybertech

Nadav Argaman notes cryptically that anti-Israel hackers ‘experience unexpected problems’

Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman speaks at Cyber Week in Tel Aviv on June 27, 2017. (Screen capture: NRG)
Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman speaks at Cyber Week in Tel Aviv on June 27, 2017. (Screen capture: NRG)

The Shin Bet has used cybertechnology to prevent more than 2,000 terror attacks since the beginning of 2016, the internal security agency’s head said at a conference Tuesday.

The opportunities that the cyber world present to the organization are dramatic, Nadav Argaman told the Cyber Week 2017 conference at Tel Aviv University.

Using unspecified technological means, the Shin Bet, along with other Israeli intelligence agencies, have prevented terror attacks in Israel and also passed on information to stop terrorists elsewhere in the world.

He told conference-goers that groundbreaking cybertechnology has also helped to protect against lone-wolf attacks — not directed by terrorist groups but sometimes inspired by social media incitement — that would have been unpreventable using traditional intelligence-gathering means.

“Our rivals focus on connecting computers to the physical world, and we are creating an effective preventive defense system,” he said. “We’ve carried out dozens of smart and successful operations.”

Argaman said his agency protects against threats from world powers, terror groups and individual hackers.

He also warned that hackers who attempt to attack Israel are in for a surprise. “We are not only defending but also attacking hackers in the world,” he said. “Hackers who operate against Israel around the world find they experience unexpected problems.”

“We learn the patterns of activities of the enemy and know how to surprise him with counterattacks in many different ways,” Argaman said.

“We will continue to thwart threats in distant locations, and hackers who work against us should be prepared for surprises, not only in cyberspace but also in the real world. Anyone who attacks us will get a total response,” he said.

Israel recruits the best minds in the world, Argaman said, and is competitive in the private market. However, he added, its agencies must remain quiet about their capabilities in order to stay ahead of those trying to attack.

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