RAMAT HASHARON, Israel (Reuters) - In the late 1990s, a computer specialist from Israel's Shin Bet internal security service hacked into the mainframe of the Pi Glilot fuel depot north of Tel Aviv.
It was meant to be a routine test of safeguards at the strategic site. But it also tipped off the Israelis to the potential such hi-tech infiltrations offered for real sabotage.
"Once inside the Pi Glilot system, we suddenly realized that, aside from accessing secret data, we could also set off deliberate explosions, just by programing a re-route of the pipelines," said a veteran of the Shin Bet drill.
So began a cyberwarfare project which, a decade on, is seen by independent experts as the likely new vanguard of Israel's efforts to foil the nuclear ambitions of its arch-foe Iran.