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Israel’s Cyber Warfare Outfit – Unit 8200 – Gets New Commander

Soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) cyber warfare Unit 8200. Photograph courtesy of Moshe Shai/Flash90.

Unit 8200, the cyber warfare organisation in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), has a new commander. Identified only as Brigadier-General ‘K’, he replaced Brigadier-General ‘S’ at a change-of-command ceremony at the Unit 8200’s home base at Gelilot, north of Tel Aviv.

Unit 8200 is the unofficial name for what is often referred to as the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU), with SIGINT standing for Signals Intelligence. SIGINT covers a range of activities from the interception and collection of all types of communications (voice, data, etc.), their decryption, and analysis.

Founded in 1952, Unit 8200 is one of the largest units in the IDF numbering several thousand soldiers. The unit is not only responsible for Israeli signals intelligence collection in Israel and Palestine, but also across the wider Middle East and Africa, as well as Europe and parts of Asia. It is also responsible for other Israeli technical intelligence collection.

Given its extensive experience in SIGINT collection and decryption work, along with its cutting-edge innovation in bringing cyber warfare and information operations to the tactical level, Unit 8200 has garnered an excellent reputation even among its adversaries.

According to The Times of Israel, Major General Herzl Halevi, commander of IDF Military Intelligence, who presided over the Unit 8200 change-of-command ceremony, said that, “Unit 8200, with its influence and the breadth of its actions, is a special group in Military Intelligence, in the IDF, in the Intelligence community, in the State of Israel and — I’ll allow myself to say — in the world.”

“I want to thank you ‘S,’ with never-ending appreciation, for the important, impressive and unparalleled work. And to you, ‘K,’ the incoming commander, I wish you great success on your new path, in a journey that begins today in Unit 8200,” Maj. Gen. Halevi said.

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