“It’s not an area that you study in the university”
Hackers at Work They can gather intelligence, detect their enemies’ weak spots and even launch ‘missile’ toward a given target. Cyber space is a powerful weapon of the modern era, one for which the IAF is eager to locate the elite players who control the field. Enter Mexico
Dana Rusou and Michal Weissbrod
Daniel (alias) refuses to be referred to as ‘the hacker’. He is only here to help. As a matter a fact, if you look up the word ‘hacker’ in the dictionary it described Daniel entirely. After all, a hacker is a computer genius who uses technology along with given abilities and knowledge in a very creative way.
Believe it or not, at 27, Daniel is already a very popular hacker, which is why the IAF was eager to recruit him all the way from his homeland: Mexico.
Daniel had always wanted to immigrate to Israel and join the IDF. After graduating from a Mexican University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, he made his dream come true. Actually, Daniel nearly missed his chance to enlist because new immigrants are obligated to only until age 25. “If I had immigrated two months after; I wouldn’t have been able to join the army, so I didn’t wait at all”, he smiles. “This is our country, there is no place more important that’s why I wanted to take part in this amazing experience”.
Today, Daniel operates as a non-commissioned officer at the unit of informative system security in the IAF. Amongst other things, Daniel participates in solving intelligence safety investigations, prepares various computer software and guides officers and soldier who he works with. “He assists us with coming up with advanced solutions to sensitive and high priority issues”, says Daniel’s Commander Major Asaf. “He holds great knowledge and from our point of view, he improves our unit in many different ways”.
You might ask where one could obtain such knowledge, but Daniel managed to do just that while sitting long hours in front of his home computer. At age 12, he created his first computer software and at 14 was interning at “Microsoft”. “You can’t actually study this subject at the university, you mostly read about it in books or on the internet”, explains Daniel. “The most important thing is to read and get a lot of experience”.
As a matter a fact, living in Daniel’s reality was a lot easier at home, getting sucked into the cybernetic world. “It is very dangerous in Mexico, you can barely walk down the street”, he confesses. “I lived in Mexico City where things aren’t as bad as in other cities, but it’s still very uncomfortable. I like it better in Israel. For the rest of the world you will always be ‘the Jew’, it’s a feeling no one could understand. I was planning on immigrating for a long time, and now I’m here to stay”.