Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Israelis to train Czech cyberspace fight specialists

ČTK |
24 July 2018

Prague, July 23 (CTK) - The Czech Defence Ministry plans to have dozens its officers trained in anti-hacking methods by experts from the Czech-Israeli company CyberGym Europe, a step showing the state's efforts to enhance its cyberspace protection, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) wrote on Monday.

The Czech market is short of firms that would meet the state's requirements in this respect. CyberGym Europe was the only bidder in the public tender the Defence Ministry had put up.

"We use the unique Israeli know-how, complemented by European regulations, norms and specific aspects," Martin Uher, who heads the firm's board of directors, is quoted as saying.

Czech information security expert Ales Spidla said Israel is especially strong in practical experience.

"They are in fact in permanent war, especially in cybernetic war. Who else may have bigger experience with conducting cybernetic defence and offensive?" Spidla asked a rhetoric question.

Tomas Pojar, former Czech ambassador to Israel who now teaches cyber security at the Prague-seated Cevro private university, also said the Israeli experience in this field ranks among the world's absolute top.

Within the upcoming training, the largest group of officers, 52, will train the securing of networks and hacking in practice, including password cracking.

Further dozens of officers will attend a course dealing with Trojan horse malicious computer programmes, cross-site scripting and practical exercises.

Some special programmes will be attended by small groups of officers or even individuals only, HN writes.

Next year, the Czech military plans to start building its cyber forces and information operations command, a project that might benefit from the Israeli experience as well, the daily writes.

"The [new] unit needs to be able to stop and parry attacks. It cannot do without a strong team of top-quality specialists. It would be a mistake not to use the chance of sharing experience with someone who is permanently faced with attacks," Spidla said.

The new unit is to be based in Brno and supervise the military capacities for the fight in cyberspace. Built gradually as of next year, the unit is to have up to 500 members in 2025, HN writes.

The media recently mentioned the CyberGym Europe company in a different context, the daily continues.

According to the Reporter magazine and the Info.cz server, people around Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) suspect the company of being co-owned by the civilian intelligence service UZSI and having joined the activities of the Suman group, which is a Twitter account that previously released materials critical of Babis.

CyberGym Europe has dismissed the suspicions, HN writes.

The Defence Ministry has been controlled by Babis's ANO movement since the beginning of 2014.

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