Israel, or “Startup Nation” as some call it, has become a world leader in cyber security. And the nation’s military is fueling its supremacy.
Although Israel makes no cars of its own, the world’s top auto-security companies are all Israeli. The country also receives roughly one-fifth of the world’s global private investment in cyber security. As independent and state-sponsored hackers wreak havoc, Israel continues to revolutionize its military and lead the way in the field.
To start, the Israeli Defense Force recruits the best and brightest coders and hackers as teens, to funnel them into their elite cyber warfare units.
“Because going to the service is compulsory, you can look at the Israeli army as the largest HR organization in the world,” said Roni Zehavi, the CEO of CyberSpark, a government initiative that serves as an innovation incubator.
These elite units are some of the most impressive in the world. Unit 8200, for example, used to be a closely guarded secret because it’s believed to be responsible for the STUXNET cyber-attack that sabotaged the Iranian nuclear program.
The skills these soldiers learn in units like 8200 are extremely profitable on the free-market. Former Israeli soldiers have brought their military and technological know-how to the private sector and created companies that specialize in cyber defense and offense.
VICE’s Ben Ferguson traveled to Israel to investigate the future of cyber warfare from the country that’s dedicated itself to becoming a superpower. While there, he explored the blurred lines among education, military tech entrepreneurship, and excessive surveillance.
Read More: Vice News