DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Thousands of bombs and rockets have been fired in Israel’s war with Hamas, resulting in thousands of deaths. But while the conventional violence is the most intense fighting in Israel in 50 years, it’s not the only conflict going on.
There’s an unconventional, invisible cyberwar happening as well.
Shawn Waldman, the CEO of Miamisburg-based Secure Cyber Defense, has made numerous trips to Israel, and knows its critical infrastructure and the Israeli cyber-ecosystem well.
He says that despite the government — along with the private sector and citizens — knowing how to defend themselves, and the resilience of the Israeli infrastructure, they have taken a major hit in this latest round of violence.
“You’ve got to really pay attention because whether the U.S. has any involvement in any of these conflicts, whether direct or indirect, that exposes the homeland,” said Waldman.
“Almost the first thing we saw was the ‘red alert system,’ which is an app that all Israeli citizens get access to, that tells them if a bomb or rocket is headed to their area, and that was compromised. It started sending out false alerts. It started sending political rhetoric through the application.”
Israeli power plants have also been hit hard with cyberattacks. It’s an example of how war is fought these days. Waldman expects no let-up on the cyber front lines.
Waldman is now in Washington D.C. for an intelligence conference, after just returning from Israel. And the intelligence community is buzzing with Israel-Hamas conversation, as well as recent intelligence about possible attacks here.
“Just yesterday, we just received intelligence that I can’t go into deep detail about, about foreign actors who have a very large interest in five key areas of our critical infrastructure,” said Waldman.
Potential attacks could have a direct impact on life right here in the Miami Valley, and Waldman has a direct message for anyone who says the war in Israel is 6,000 miles away and doesn’t matter here.
“Well, because we have an entire carrier group that is sitting in the eastern Mediterranean right now, so if that’s not the definition of direct or indirect involvement in a conflict, I don’t know what is.”
Waldman told 2 NEWS a few years ago that the U.S. “unequivocally” was not ready for cyberattacks, but he says a lot of progress has been made since. He says we still have a long way to go, and our critical infrastructure is still sensitive.