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Carmi Gillon

Former Shin Bet Head Carmi Gillon: How Sony could have been saved from Cyber Attacks and Why Israel Should to Get Rid of Occupied Territories As Soon As Possible”

*Gillon was head of Shin Bet when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995

By Rhonda Spivak, January 20, 2015




Carmi Gillon, the former head of the Shin Bet (Israel’s Internal General Security Service) from 1994 – 1996 was in Winnipeg and spoke for the Winnipeg Chapter of Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University on Thursday, January 15th.


A few days before arriving in Winnipeg, Gillon told Bloomberg News that he ascribes to Shimon Peres’s policy that Israel “needs to fight terrorism as if there is no political process and to continue the political process as if there is no terrorism.” He also told Bloomberg News that “Israel needs to get rid of the occupied territories as soon as possible.”



Gillon, who is now the Executive Chairman of an Israeli start up company CYTEGIC which provides companies with security against cyber attacks, spoke on a conference call sponsored by the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University and the Vancouver Chapter of the Jewish National Fund on Tuesday, January 13th. The Winnipeg Jewish Review participated in this conference call where Gillon spoke on the topic “The Global Threats of Cyber Security” and his remarks from this call are reported below.


Gillon, who was the former head of the Shin Bet when Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 resigned from command of the Shin Bet in its aftermath. He spoke about Sony Pictures Entertainment whose computers were attacked by “cyber criminals who stole their ID and assets.” As a result of the security breach unreleased films were made available on the internet and other private matters were let out. President Obama “kind of declared war on North Korea” in the wake of what he said was a destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony, but North Korea denied involvement. Obama announced sanctions that target North Korea’s primary intelligence organizations and individuals as agencies or officials of the North Korean government. Gillon said this type of cyber attack can be very very serious since “both the U.S. and North Korea are nuclear.”


Gillon, who served as Director-General of the Peres Centre for Peace (2000 – 2001), and was also Israel’s Ambassador to Denmark (2001 – 2003), laid out how CYTEGIC evaluates cyber risks for companies in real time to enable them to protect their assets from being stolen from cyber criminals. As he explained, his company “gathers intelligence and provides analysis” and “we try to predict what will be the future (cyber) attacks in countries and on private property.” CYTEGIC does this by giving specific alerts to organizations in real time on their dashboards, indicating when there are attacks concerning their companies. As Gillon stressed in his interview with Bloomberg News, it is important for the CEO and Board of Directors of a given company to be involved in cyber security so that they can prioritize which of a given company’s assets are to be protected and how much to invest in protecting them.


During the conference call Gillon, who appeared in the documentary “The Gatekeepers” spoke of the fact that “the new threats to freedom of citizens of the world” is in “the realm of cyber security.”


Regarding Israel’s security, Gillon said that in the 1990’s it had faced the threat of suicide bombers, which “was stopped mostly because of the (security) fence Israel erected,” He continued by saying “that as a result of that Hamas turned to focusing on launching rockets.” “So the Israeli solution was the Iron Dome,” Gillon said, adding that in response, “Now Hamas moved to dig tunnels.”


Now “Israel will have to be ready to ward of cyber security threats,” he said.


“The target of a terrorist is not only to kill people but to sabotage normal life of a free country,” Gillon noted. For example if you have a suicide bomber on a bus, normal life is sabotaged “as no one wants to take the bus.”


Gillon, is the former Vice President of External Relations for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, stressed that in the case of cyber attacks “I (the terrorist) do not need to be in the country I am attacking. I can stop the lights in the streets and cause a traffic jam, or attack (a country’s) cell phone system.” A prospective terrorist will learn that he can be very “useful if he becomes a hacker” in a country such as the United Kingdom.


He added, “it’s easier to make a transaction through your cell phone (as opposed to going somewhere in person to make the transaction), but every time you or the person next to you gets into your bank database, it means a threat to your security.”


As a result, Gillon, who referred to how he enjoys working with “great young minds in Israel” in his new start up company, stressed that the Western world needs to make sure that institutions and companies take enough precautions to protect your privacy.


According to Gillon, one issue at play is “whether states will be allowed to supervise the way companies protect their properties.” In his view, each country will “need to implement laws or regulations” that will regulate how private companies will need to protect personal security and privacy,” (the same way how the government regulates how banks are run).


Just over a year ago Gillon explained why he advocated for a two state solution on an International Focus program, and, indicating that time was running out. (This interview can be found here: In this interview Gillon said: “We only have ten years left.” He explained that within ten years, the United States will be able to produce oil and “the US will be independent of Gulf oil: and accordingly “it won’t have an interest in the (Middle East) region,” such that a US brokered peace agreement will not occur. As he said, “two new states, Russia and China” will have interests in the region in ten years, not the US, and “its allies are worried about that.” Gillon referred to the fact that when the US didn’t fund Egypt with 250 million dollars, “Saudi Arabia sent a cheque” and “Putin was on his way to Egypt.” He indicted at the time over a year ago as US Secretary of State John Kerry was trying to advance the peace process that it would require real leadership on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides to come to a settlement, and that in regard to the Palestinian “right of return”, this could only be symbolic as the Palestinian

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.