The Israeli government has launched a new IT training programme as it seeks to strengthen the country’s defences against the growing threat of cybercrime.
The scheme, known as ‘Magshimim Le’umit’, will target talented students age 16-18 and lasts three years, reports The Jerusalem Post. With Israel frequently on the giving and receiving end of major cyber-attacks, the Benjamin Netanyahu regime is taking steps to safeguard the nation’s digital infrastructure.
“Israel’s vital systems are under attack from Iran and other elements. This will only increase as we enter the digital age,” said the Prime Minister. “We are bolstering our ability to deal with these threats via the Israel National Cyber Bureau (INCB) that we established.”
Netanyahu hopes the programme will work towards establishing what he describes as a “digital Iron Dome” – the air defence system regarded a success during the recent conflict with Gaza.
“To the outstanding pupils that are studying in the special programme, I say: ‘You are the future interceptors for the State of Israel.’ We are one of the world’s leaders in the field of cybernetics, and we must maintain this position. Therefore, we will continue to cultivate the generation of the future,” he added.
Israel’s cyber-defences were pushed to their limit during the military campaign against Hamas late in 2012, as hacking collectives like Anonymous bombarded Israeli websites with DDoS attacks and a host of threats and viruses. Government officials claimed over 44 million attempts had been made to bring down state web pages, but insisted that no serious damage was caused.