DVIDS – News – Florida and Georgia Guard Cyber Airmen Tested at Cyber Shield, DoD’s Largest Unclassified Cyber Defense Exercise


A crew of about 10 Florida Air Nationwide Guard cyber and pc safety specialists augmented by three Georgia Air Nationwide Guard Airmen and a Soldier from the Kentucky Military Nationwide Guard blended collectively June 5-17 for Cyber Protect 2022, the Division of Protection’s largest unclassified cyber protection train involving roughly 800 Nationwide Guard cyber specialists in addition to legislation enforcement, authorized, authorities and company companions from throughout the nation.

This 12 months the train was performed on the Military Nationwide Guard’s Skilled Schooling Heart on Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Service members and civilian specialists from 20 states and the U.S. territory of Guam gathered for the train.

The Florida Nationwide Guard members are a part of the 601st Air and House Operations Heart and are primarily based on Tyndall Air Power Base in Panama Metropolis, Florida. The Georgia Airmen are from the 116th Air Management Wing primarily based on Robins Air Power Base, Georgia.

“The train was difficult,” stated Florida Air Nationwide Guard Capt. DeAngela Sword, the crew lead. “It helped our crew develop an operational mindset and be examined on totally different instruments that now we have not used at our residence unit. It gave us the flexibility to enhance processes and our device units again residence.”

The annual train, led by the Military Nationwide Guard and assisted by the Air Nationwide Guard, is a concentrated effort to develop, practice and train cyber forces within the areas of pc community inside defensive measures and cyber incident response, based on the Nationwide Guard Bureau.

These cyber defensive measures could be employed to defend and shield important cyber infrastructure together with {industry}, utilities, faculties, well being care, meals suppliers in addition to army networks.

“Cyber warfare is not only our future — it’s our modern actuality,” stated Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the Nationwide Guard Bureau throughout an April U.S. Cyber Command summit. “The Nationwide Guard is positioned to be leaders within the digital area and continues to boost our nation’s cyber capabilities in fight and within the homeland.

“With 4,000 Nationwide Guard cyber operators throughout 40 states, many working for main tech firms, the Nationwide Guard has the data, expertise and talents to play a important function within the DOD’s cyber enterprise,” he added.

Cyber Protect 22 brings collectively the nation’s prime cyber protection professionals from Nationwide Guard Troopers and Airmen to varied governmental, nongovernmental and high-tech companions. This 12 months’s train additionally concerned groups from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Efficient cyber protection requires unclassified collaboration throughout a number of companions, stated Maj. Gen. Wealthy Neely, the adjutant common of the Illinois Nationwide Guard and a grasp our on-line world officer. “All of us have to be speaking about these assaults and the place they’re coming from. To do this requires efficient relationships and communications throughout all ranges of presidency in addition to the non-public sector.”

Neely stated that a lot of these skilled relationships the Nationwide Guard shares with its companions in cyber protection “all started at a Cyber Protect.”

The primary week of the train concerned coaching lessons and hands-on workouts for members. Throughout this a part of the train, service members had the chance to take top-notch data know-how lessons and earn industry-standard certifications that can be utilized each within the army and in civilian careers. These 15 totally different lessons and certifications sometimes value a whole bunch of {dollars} outdoors the train and are offered to members without charge.

On June 12, the second section of the train started. This second week put the cybersecurity service members’ expertise to the check pitting them in opposition to an opposing pressure of hackers. The cyber defenders labored on figuring out an intrusion into a pc community after which countering the hacker’s actions, stated George Battistelli, Cyber Protect 2022 train director and the deputy chief data officer for the Military Nationwide Guard.

“It will be significant for us to proceed to coach our Troopers utilizing real-world occasions, so they’re able to reduce down the noise and concentrate on the mission,” Battistelli stated. “Within the train, and in the true world, we attempt to attain and preserve data benefit over our adversaries.”

This 12 months the train centered on responding to a “provide chain” assault much like the SolarWinds assault that effected many company and authorities networks, Battistelli stated. A provide chain assault is when the hackers insert malicious code into third-party software program akin to IT monitoring software program. When the software program, or updates to the software program, are put in, the malicious software program can be put in permitting the hackers entry to the company and authorities networks. The SolarWinds assault infiltrated a wide selection of company and authorities networks. The train additionally infused social media “noise” into the state of affairs, making the train as reasonable as potential.

This 12 months the Blue Groups – the “good guys” – labored to defend the army’s personal pc networks. Prior to now, the train state of affairs has had the Blue Groups responding beneath the authority of a state governor. This 12 months, they’re responding beneath federal authority. This modifications the coverage and regulatory bounds in addition to the authorized authorities of the response.

The train additionally helped practice Nationwide Guard legal professionals on aiding cyber service members in staying inside these bounds and authorities, stated Minnesota Military Nationwide Guard Capt. Cumah Blake, the lead employees choose advocate for the train.

“The Cyber Protect train is a good mannequin,” Blake stated. “The train pulls collectively an built-in crew of specialists, not simply our on-line world specialists. It addresses not simply our on-line world operations in a vacuum, however how do you pull collectively different members of your crew and make these missions profitable.”

The Pink Group – the “dangerous guys” – included a few of the greatest cyber specialists within the {industry}, stated Illinois Military Nationwide Guard Lt. Col. Jeff Fleming, the train officer-in-charge. Fleming stated that members of the Pink Group wrote their very own malicious code and a bug bounty hunter introduced proof of idea code to check a zero day vulnerability he found to coach the Blue Groups with very subtle and difficult conditions.

This 12 months the train had a “Purple Day” when the Pink Group met with the Blue Groups to debate the assaults, what was completed, and the place and when it might have been caught. This helped practice the cyber service members to defend in opposition to real-world assaults.

The coaching cyber service members acquired at Cyber Protect is vitally vital to the continued effort to guard the nation in our on-line world.

“We’ve got to be proper 100% of the time,” Battistelli stated. “Our adversaries solely have to be proper as soon as to get into our networks.”

Date Taken: 06.19.2022
Date Posted: 06.19.2022 16:49
Story ID: 423348

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