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Israeli 4th graders cyber-defense boot camp?


Israeli 4th graders cyber-defense boot camp?

Israel’s Unit 8200 is more than a just a number. It goes by the name of Israeli Intelligence Corps amongst others and its job is to collect signal intelligence and code decryption. From humble beginnings in the early fifties, the unit is now the largest in the Israel Defense Forces with thousands of soldiers.

More recently, Israel announced its national centre for cyber education. It is hoped that the centre will increase the talent pool for the country’s military intelligence and serve as preparation for future careers in defense agencies, the high-tech industry and academia. By all accounts the country is introducing its children to cyber education at a young age. Kindergarten’s are teaching their mini-Einstein’s computer skills and robotics, by fourth-grade, students have progressed to classes in computer programming, fast forward to tenth grade, students can take after-school classes in encryption tactics, coding, and how to stop malicious hacking.

This photo made on Sunday January 1st, 2017, shows a tenth grader attending a class how to investigate a computer network that has been hacked in Beit Shemesh, Israel. In its quest to become a world leader in cyber security and technology, Israel is placing its hopes in the country’s youth. (AP Photo/Daniel Estrin)


The training programs have been described as a kind of boot camp for cyber defense and Israel is keen to secure its number one position as a world leader in cyber security and technology.

16-year-old cyber student Shalev Goodman has revealed that he is not the most athletic of kids and that he would like to give something to his country.

From a military intelligence perspective, it’s a win-win situation but the program leaders have stressed the necessity that students maintain cyber ethics. Any student using their skills to hack is not accepted into the military and risks ruining any future career in the cyber industry.

Is there too much pressure on 4th graders to bridge the ‘cybersecurity skills shortage’ gap? Shouldn’t they be enjoying a fun and carefree childhood instead?

Véronique’s Verdict

The cards drawn are the King of Wands, the Three of Wands and the Ten of Wands.

The King of Wands
This represents unit 8200. There is an autocratic and dominant energy within this card. 8200 demands loyalty from soldiers and students alike in return for great rewards.

The Three of Wands
This represents the mini-Einstein’s. This card shows the children whose talent for ‘cyber-security’ has been recognized. I feel that the children wish to engage positively with the training with a joyful awareness. There is no real pressure shown here.

The Ten of Wands represents the cyber-security industry. A sense of over-commitment and additional responsibility is revealed within this card, but with the extra burden brings a feeling of power that is welcomed.

Collectively, the cards are wholly positive. Essentially, if a talent for cyber-security is recognized, it is pursued as an opportunity for long term advancement. When we hear of children engaging in military practices, it raises alarm bells, but I do not feel that there is an intention of an untoward nature.


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