Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence chief Nadav Argaman warned at a Friends of Tel Aviv University conference Monday that a foreign nation is planning some form of cyber attack on Israel’s upcoming elections, set for April 9 2019.
The details were murky, and Argaman offered no details, according to Hadashot TV news, which broadcast the mostly censored report Tuesday night.
By later in the evening, however, censorship was relaxed enough for Hadashot news to quote Argaman as saying that although he does not yet know the political purpose for the interference, he is certain the foreign nation is indeed “trying to intervene – and I know what I am talking about, I just don’t know in whose favor.”
And in a statement issued following the broadcast, the Israel Security Agency said, “In continuation of this evening’s announcements, the Israel Security Agency wishes to clarify that the State of Israel and the intelligence community have the tools and capabilities to locate, monitor and thwart attempts to influence foreign influence, if any. The ability of the Israeli defense establishment to allow for democratic and free elections in the State of Israel.”
The issue of cyber security and interference in national elections is not new: The United States is still in an uproar and struggling with the issue of what kind of cyber interference was carried out by foreign agents during American elections in the 2016 election, and how to prevent it in future years.
Israel is considered a global cyber security leader. The Jewish State accounted for the second-largest number of cyber security deals globally in 2018 after the United States, according to New York data firm CB Insights.