October 25, 2020

Beersheba, the center of Israeli intelligence | Technology

Beersheba, the center of Israeli intelligence | Technology


Beersheba, the center of Israeli intelligence

Beersheba, about 100 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, the Israeli capital, is more than the gateway to the Negev desert. This city is home to the brain of the country. Its technological complex welcomes and has given birth to some of the leading IT security companies in the world. It is already the headquarters of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and in the coming years will host the entire fabric of military intelligence of the second most attacked country in the world through the network (after the United States), germ of a field that groups 430 companies, employs 19,000 people, monopolizes the 5% world sector, of 6,000 million euros in income and from which arise every year 65 new companies.

The intelligence center

In the building 2 of the Beerseba technology park, between half a dozen security companies, is the CERT, one of the most unknown cybernetic centers in the world and which has been accessed by heads of state accompanied by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who exhibits this complex as a personal achievement, since it was created from 2002 on its own initiative and as a sequel to the National Security Agency (NSA) he saw in the United States during his student days.

The immediate response control center can not be entered with any electronic device. The mobiles, recorders or cameras are guarded in a ticket office at the entrance, near a kitchen for workers that seems domestic. The heart of the CERT is accessed by three aisles without windows of about 10 meters adorned only with photographs of Israeli inventions in all areas. Everything is untainted and hidden. There are no open doors and you have to wait in the hall for the technicians to turn off the work screens before giving way to the visitors.

Lavy Shtokhomer, director of CERT, the government agency responsible for information security in all areas of the country, in front of the map that monitors the origin of the attacks that Israel receives through the Internet.
Lavy Shtokhomer, director of CERT, the government agency responsible for information security in all areas of the country, in front of the map that monitors the origin of the attacks that Israel receives through the Internet.

In one stepped classroom with 23 monitors, one of the nine emergency response teams rests. They are students, mostly from the nearby university, attend curious to the arrival of a stranger and avoid any conversation beyond the required courtesy. In the background, a fully monitored wall shows a map of the world where arrows are observed that go to Israel from the United States, Spain, northern France, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.

Attacks per second

"Reflects to the second the attacks that we are receiving, but it is more an orientation because the arrows show where the last IP (computer identity) is registered. Since it is mobile, attacks can be ordered from anywhere in the world, "explains Lavy Shtokhomer, director of the CERT, the government agency responsible for information security in all areas of the country.The most detailed analysis to locate the zero focus of the The infection is done on other devices.

To the right, building that houses the headquarters of the Israeli CERT.
To the right, building that houses the headquarters of the Israeli CERT.

Another part of the screen shows every hundredth of the second network addresses from which attack alerts are recorded, amounting to more than 100,000 per day. "For the most part," says Shtokhomer, they are information thefts (20%), intrusions (14%) and malicious programs (malware, eleven%).

One more part of the wall of screens is reserved to Cibernet, a network of associated experts that warn, inform or provide solutions to computer security issues. At the time of the visit, the data exchange was monopolized by an Israeli engineer whose initials are N. T., another specialist with initials R. B and an entity with the acronym of a space agency.

"Each sector (financial, security, transport, telecommunications, energy and others) suffers threats and has its own protocols. assist and protect everyone, not only to government entities. And our mission to promote high technology, "concludes Shtokhomer.

Ecosystem

"It took us 10 years to discover that the political strategy we had required an operational structure", adds Igal Unna, general director of the Israel National Cyber ​​Directorate (INCD). From there arose the unique Israeli model. Of the needs of defense, which absorb more than 4% of GDP, the idea of ​​capitalizing this expense generated a university and business network, in a great majority of cases (an example is Cyberark, one of the main security companies) , following the military computer control units.

Recreation of the Israeli technological park in Beersheba, specialized and security.
Recreation of the Israeli technological park in Beersheba, specialized and security.

It is what they call "ecosystem", an interrelated organization that brings together Government, Army, university research and business network.

Or Santo is one of those responsible for this transfer in a city already at the level of the main technological centers of the world.

The technology park, he explains, plans to host 15,000 new venues (now has three), 300,000 workers, 3,000 military personnel (6,000, when the entire army intelligence campus is completed) and 20,000 students. "It's our Silicon Valley," says Shtokhomer.

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