Cyber Defense Exercises have received much attention in recent years, and are increasingly becoming the cornerstone for ensuring readiness in this new domain. Crossed Swords is an exercise directed at training Red Team members for responsive cyber defense. However, prior iterations have revealed the need for automated and transparent real-time feedback systems to help participants improve their techniques and understand technical challenges. Feedback was too slow and players did not understand the visibility of their actions. Authors of the research developed a novel and modular open-source framework to address this problem, dubbed Frankenstack. This framework was used during Crossed Swords 2017 execution and evaluated its effectiveness by interviewing participants and conducting an online survey.
Due to the novelty of Red Team-centric exercises, very little academic research exists on providing real-time feedback during such exercises. Thus, this paper serves as a first foray into a novel research field.
This paper was accepted and first published at the 2017 IEEE Military Communications Conference, and the final version of the paper is included in Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE Military Communications Conference