Intelligence: March 10, 2004

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Israel is playing an interesting, if somewhat mysterious, game with Iran. Israel recently let it be known that Unit 8200 had cracked an Iranian communications code that allowed Israel to read messages concerning Iranian efforts to keep its nuclear weapons program going (with Pakistani help), despite Iranian promises to UN weapons inspectors that the program was being shut down. It's long been known that Unit 8200 of the Israeli army specialized in cracking codes for the government. This was known because so many men who had served in Unit 8200 went on to start companies specializing in cryptography (coding information so that no unauthorized personnel can know what the data is.) But it is unusual for a code-cracking organization to admit to deciphering someones code. Perhaps the Iranians stopped using the code in question, or perhaps the Israelis just wanted to scare the Iranians. Israel is very concerned about Iran getting nuclear weapons, mainly because the Islamic conservatives that control Iran have as one of their primary goals the destruction of Israel. In response to these Iranian threats, Israel has said that it will do whatever it takes to stop Iran from getting nukes. This apparently includes doing the unthinkable (or a code cracking outfit); admitting that you had successfully taken apart an opponents secret code.

 


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