This is downright shocking, if true. "Hezbollah guerrillas were able to hack into Israeli radio communications during last month's battles in south Lebanon, an intelligence breakthrough that helped them thwart Israeli tank assaults," Newsday reports.
Using technology most likely supplied by Iran, special Hezbollah teams monitored the constantly changing radio frequencies of Israeli troops on the ground. That gave guerrillas a picture of Israeli movements, casualty reports and supply routes. It also allowed Hezbollah anti-tank units to more effectively target advancing Israeli armor, according to the officials...The Israeli military refused to comment on whether its radio communications were compromised, citing security concerns. But a former Israeli general, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Hezbollah's ability to secretly hack into military transmissions had "disastrous" consequences for the Israeli offensive...Like most modern militaries, Israeli forces use a practice known as "frequency-hopping" - rapidly switching among dozens of frequencies per second - to prevent radio messages from being jammed or intercepted. It also uses encryption devices to make it difficult for enemy forces to decipher transmissions even if they are intercepted. The Israelis mostly rely on a U.S.-designed communication system called the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System...With frequency-hopping and encryption, most radio communications become very difficult to hack. But troops in the battlefield sometimes make mistakes in following secure radio procedures and can give an enemy a way to break into the frequency-hopping patterns. That might have happened during some battles between Israel and Hezbollah, according to the Lebanese official. Hezbollah teams likely also had sophisticated reconnaissance devices that could intercept radio signals even while they were frequency-hopping.During one raid in southern Lebanon, Israeli special forces said they found a Hezbollah office equipped with jamming and eavesdropping devices.It was my impression that this kind of signal interception was really, really hard to do -- especially for an irregular force like Hezbollah. I know there are some radio and commsec gurus who read the site regularly. Weigh in here, guys.Or maybe the article itself contains the seed of what actually happened. "Besides radio transmissions, the official said Hezbollah also monitored cell phone calls among Israeli troops," Newsday notes. A raided Hezbollah base had list of "cell phone numbers for Israeli commanders."Cells are, of course, way easier to intercept. "Israeli forces were under strict orders not to divulge sensitive information over the phone." But maybe they talked anyway. Maybe they thought Hezbollah would never be sophisticated enough to grab their calls.UPDATE 3:25 PM: Weeks ago, the Times of London and Asia Times had hints of this.
Apparently using techniques learnt from their paymasters in Iran, they were even able to crack the codes and follow the fast-changing frequencies of Israeli radio communications, intercepting reports of the casualties they had inflicted again and again. This enabled them to dominate the media war by announcing Israeli fatalities first.They monitored our secure radio communications in the most professional way, one Israeli officer admitted. When we lose a man, the fighting unit immediately gives the location and the number back to headquarters. What Hezbollah did was to monitor our radio and immediately send it to their Al-Manar TV, which broadcast it almost live, long before the official Israeli radio.(Big ups: JQP, /.)