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Conditions for admission and dealing with terrorist organizations: Unit 8200 - Looking Inside - Walla! technology


The secret unit has become a major gateway to Israeli cyber companies. We sat down for a chat with one of the former 8200 commanders to find out what the magic secret is

At the same weight, it can be said that "the IDF's intelligence and cyber units, such as 8200, are the locomotive that is pushing the high-tech market forward"; a statement that may explain how thousands of new millionaires were born in the last two years. Israeli Tech.

The locomotive that is pushing the high-tech market forward?

(Photo: IDF Spokesman)

As someone who grew up in a home where the father of the family was involved in the world of computing, I always knew that military service in an intelligence unit or a technology unit would only do you good in life. I remember a conversation he had with me my father towards the date of enlistment on the reasons why you should make one computer unit in the army. During that time was the hot name MAMRAM units (computer center's information systems and ICT Division), today hot name is 8200,

actually, For various reasons, I served in a unit that is not connected to the world of computing, but when I saw what happens to members who served in technology units after their release from the IDF - I understood exactly what Dad was talking about. And some of their employees became millionaires overnight thanks to the options they held.If we were excited about the sale of Wise to Google for $ 1 billion in 2013, today a company offering of even tens of billions does not always guarantee mention in the new editions.

Today the hot name is Unit 8200 (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

A little about 8200:

  • A unit of thousands of people in a wide variety of roles, larger than the sea arm

  • The unit was established at the establishment of the state and took part in all of Israel's wars

  • The unit is a technological-intelligence-operational unit and operates in all sectors of the IDF

  • The unit develops advanced capabilities in the field of artificial intelligence through human-machine integration

  • Thanks to the unit, the State of Israel has supremacy in cyberspace

A conversation with the drivers of the most powerful locomotive in the economy

It is said that the high-tech industry in the country is the locomotive that drives the economy. According to the same formula could be said of the IDF's intelligence units, led by a unit 8200 which has become a generic name cyber unit, turn complain that drives the high-tech industry in the country.

We sat in conversation with Nadav Marshmallow, founder and partner at Team8 - Saber Foundation that works for the construction and investment in high-tech - who served as commander of unit 8200 between 2009 and 2013, to explain to us how the unit has become a generic name of Habitat Lstartafistim.

"You need luck in life and in the army I was lucky" number of Zephyr, was drafted in 1988, underwent basic training paratroopers, singing In the General Staff patrol and was discharged in 2013 as commander of 8200. “90% of my service was in combat units but the fact that I served in the paratroopers gave me a very good basis to understand what a soldier in the IDF is.

Later, in my service in intelligence, I met an end of what capability is. "We will expand on the issue of capabilities later, but first we will try to explain how the need for technological intelligence has changed in the last thirty years. The years added to it a technological need - a consequence of the reality that developed in the field.

IDF Intelligence Division. Illustration (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

What does 'the reality that developed on the ground' mean and what caused this change?

"To me, the event that caused the change was the birth of the Internet in the 1990s. What started as an American invention for emergency communications was evolving into something worldwide that made your enemies look for and exploit loopholes and information leaking out of organizations and countries. Terrorist organizations have learned exactly how to exploit those loopholes. "Since September 11, it has been a very complex operation involving hundreds of people from 12 countries. They have learned how to use the communications systems under the radar to carry out a terrorist attack on a historic scale. This is causing the political system to change its needs."

When warfare becomes asymmetrical, that is, the strong side is not necessarily the one that has more tanks because in front of it there are organizations that rely on civilian communication - the needs change. This was also the case with the need for Israeli intelligence, which in the past was mainly to provide war warnings. Tzafrir hints at the great intelligence failure of the Yom Kippur War that accompanied the country years later.

"When the enemies change and the tactics change it causes Israeli intelligence to change. And if I go back to my personal side then I was lucky to be involved when these changes occurred. First, the understanding of what is needed: to provide tactical operational intelligence. Know how to differentiate between an enemy and a friend and can help him with that.

And for that to work, you must develop supremacy in the cyber dimension. "

The event that caused the change was the birth of the Internet in the 1990s (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

What the "refrigerator" did to the refrigerator, the 8200 does to the cyber

According to Tzafrir, if there is anything that 8200 has changed and invention is the method. "The challenge is that you have to move and change a lot, and fast." It is this challenge that has caused a fundamental change in the way soldiers are recruited and trained for intelligence units like 8200, 9900, 81 and others. If in the past most of the technology was developed by engineers or technicians, reality has taught that there is not enough manpower for this.

Sometimes by the time a software or computer engineer completes their degree, the technology is already changing. 8200 relied on compulsory recruitment. Think what a tremendous resource the IDF has with the ability to recruit 18-year-olds. Unit 8200 has developed a special method of filtering the recruited population and identifying those who have existing potential for learning here and now; You put these people at the forefront of technological development in order to be one step ahead of the enemy's communications systems. It requires a competition of learning, learning your enemy that exploits loopholes in your systems and the Internet. "

Has the technical level of the "bad guys" really improved so much in recent years?

"Some do. Iranians, for example, have highly developed capabilities, advanced capabilities, at least in my time. Understand, you do not need extraordinary resources to create exceptional capabilities. Sometimes the ability of a particular group to understand how to exploit a system and find weaknesses does not require extraordinary resources."

"We are 20 years old from September 11."

Terrorist organizations have learned how to exploit loopholes (Photo: Reuters)

And how do this horrible intelligence units work?

"The idea is to take the most important resource that Israel has, human capital, along with the fact that there is compulsory recruitment here, and to create a system that locates among all the security guards (candidates for security service, e.g.) those who have exceptional capabilities. You move them courses, produces them an environment in which their abilities are expressed and put them in the front. "

Thanks to collaborations with academic institutions in the country, some of the courses that pass Officers Saber at 8200 selling points of academic degree programs in some universities in the country. When we talk about mentoring, unit 8200 Investor Lots of everything related to courses and learning.

The apprenticeship ratio in the unit is usually one faculty member for every five trainees, an apprenticeship ratio is very high by all accounts, probably compared to other units in the IDF or high-tech colleges in the private market. This is also the reason By the way, in many cases of those who fail the course, they manage to find a job in a unit that currently has about 8,000 people.

How does the 8200 filtering and learning system work?

"You first test learning abilities, ability to work in a group, and then put in the most important component - efficiency and positive thinking. By and large you are going to give them tasks that have never been done or solved, and let them find the solution and give them motivation and tools. From the work of the 8200 it's that the system teaches people that it's okay to fail. I came from the paratroopers - there they tell you here's how I did it and now I'll teach you. "Solution. You do not tell them that you have not tried or succeeded, or that you have not tried at all."

As a graduate and former unit commander you see that Tzafrir really believes in the method and the system: "If you keep the ability to locate the most relevant people and give them the platform then 80% of your work is done. Most of them are motivated to reach you. "I work with some of the best universities in the world and I know. It's not that we're a little better, it's just that it does not compare."

Tzafrir seems to have taken the 8200 method to Team8 as well, which underlies its business model is the attempt to concentrate technological capabilities in order to maximize the chances of success of the companies the team members believe in through a conceptual division into a third cyber, a third machine learning capability and a third fintech.

Today the group numbers about fifty people who come from those worlds.

Tzafrir's idea is to create a kind of "village" that will contain people with different skills who together are able to characterize a problem, go through the same process of "identifying what is broken, or what is going to be broken" and using leadership abilities and technological solutions to find a solution.

What can help to reach 8200 (it is important to note that there are different requirements between the positions)

  • Creativity, thinking outside the box, curiosity, leading long-term projects and the ability and desire to work hard

  • Knowledge in the worlds of computers and programming

  • Ability to absorb languages ​​from Persian to Arabic

  • Ability to analyze complex problems and solve them.

  • High quality scores that vary from track to track

Part of 8200's job is to teach that it's okay to fail (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

And how does it work for you in the meantime?

"Currently we have set up 12 companies, three of which have been sold, one is Unicorn (a private company valued at more than $ 1 billion, AG) and they have all raised round A. We are very focused, setting up two companies a year."

Recently, mainly due to the large number of issues experienced by the Israeli high-tech market, hundreds of high-tech workers became millionaires overnight.

In recent months the public discourse on the subject has become more and more vigilant.

Some argue that these enrichments further widen the economic disparities in society and some argue that the new money of those millionaires will go to investments in the housing market in what may raise housing prices even further.

What do you think about the phenomenon of new millionaires in the last two years?

"Smarts from me said Data is the new oil and data is eating the world," Tzafrir replies. The term "Data Is The New Oil" is mentioned in The Economist magazine in a 2017 article that discusses the power of data processing.

The term is usually mentioned in negative contexts but Tzafrir actually treats it positively: "Digital information is a source of a lot of information and the fact that there is such a global center of gravity is a fantastic and welcome thing to me. In this context, a public company is stable "Its to the public opens up many possibilities for the public. I think this is a welcome phenomenon and let us also remember that any such millionaire is a person who pays taxes and enriches the state coffers who can choose to use it for good purposes."

If we go back for a moment to the 8200 phenomenon, how are you with the fact that there are young people who are looking to reach 8200 not for ideological purposes but to acquire knowledge and experience and earn a springboard to the private market?

"I also went to the paratroopers because I thought it would be good for my ego. I thought red shoes would help me hitchhike."

Nadav Tzafiri (Photo: Nadav Neuhaus)

But the world was more innocent 30 years ago

"Look, the fact that there is a girl who is studying ballet and also doing courses in fulfillments that will help her get into the 8200 in my eyes is a WIN-WIN and I see it as something really wonderful."

'Fulfilling' is a program of study in the field of cyber and computer aims to find youth excels periphery to increase the pool of candidates for service in cyberspace of the IDF. The program leads Sagi Bar, graduate 81 and -8200, and it began operating in 2010.

"Look ", Says Tzafrir," the mind in the world is divided randomly but luck is not. "We understand that in order to locate the gurus with the greatest potential from all over the country, we need to help luck, so we invest a lot of capital in realizing that it is a business inefficient organization, but in the end you get quality and free manpower."

Tzafrir says that the process of locating the army's cyber units is a long and expensive process: "You have to sort out all the candidates for recruitment, pass them about ten interviews and tests and after that you also teach them and prepare them for work. We want to reach the potential of every child in the country."

From the data we received, about 30-40% of Magshimim graduates reach 8200, but it is no less impressive that 92% of the program's graduates who did not reach 8200 today work in the Israeli high-tech market.

Source: walla

All tech articles on 2021-10-17

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