The soldiers of the IAF “Ofek” computing unit took part in an international cyber competition, as part of an international cyber conference, held in Tel-Aviv University. Participants from all over the world tried to hack a program developed by the unit. “We couldn’t believe that a military organization can create such complex project”
A program developed by “Ofek” computing unit participated in an international cyber challenge for the first time. The competition was a part of the international cyber conference hosted by Tel-Aviv University and attended by 45 countries and more than 100 top lecturers from the cyber world.
“We developed an application and they have to hack it”, says Lieutenant Colonel Meir, Head of the unit’s engineering branch. “Its original goal was to train the programmers and hackers of the IAF”.
Teams from “Ofek” unit have worked tirelessly over the past year in order to upgrade the platform and turn it into a very advanced product with many scenarios integrated inside.
The program was uploaded to the “Amazon cloud” and hackers from all over the world have tried to defeat it and make their way to the competition. “Following the success of the program, we talked to the challenge organizers and 140 participants competed against the program we developed in the preliminary challenge”.
“We couldn’t believe that a military organization can create such complex project”, admits Guy Mizrachi, one of the organizers of the challenge and a known Israeli hacker. “The organizers were very skeptical”, adds Lieutenant Colonel Meir. “But after they examined the platform and had a unit tour, they were surprised with the immense knowledge of the soldiers and the high complexity of the program and eventually decided to use it”.
Next year, this very program will become the main platform the participants will compete against.
“As someone who grew inside the IDF cyber world, I’m still very impressed with the capabilities of ‘Ofek’”, says Meni Brazili, one of the competition organizers. “They created a technological solution with a quality level of a commercial product, worked non-stop and operated with high level of professionalism”.
“This conference is of national importance”
The conference represents the increasing awareness to the cyber world in the IDF.
“This conference is of national importance and its goal is to promote the cyber activity in Israel, which became an international cyber center”, explains Brazili. “Challenges and competitions of this kind help to discover brilliant people”.