At an army base outside Tel Aviv, soldiers sit in front of screens glued to scrolling colored computer code, keyboards at the ready to deflect attacks.
They’re Israel’s cyber defense team in training, among the uniformed men and women learning how to stalk hackers and pounce on virtual enemies as the state shields everything from ministry websites to the systems running the Tel Aviv stock market.
“To become one of the leading countries in cyber security, we have to act quickly to ensure that everyone will understand Israel is on its way to becoming a leading cyber-nation,” Rami Efrati, head of the civilian division of the National Cyber Bureau, said in an interview at the year-old agency this month. “Cyber security can be a national growth engine.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who expects to be tapped to form Israel’s next ruling coalition later this week, has been channeling resources to the intensifying subterranean war through fiber optic cables between Israel and its enemies.
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