The team from Czech Republic wins the largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise Locked Shields 2017. Estonian team and NCIRC team from NATO take second and third place respectively.
The defensive team from Czech Republic also takes home the special prize for the scenario inject. NCIRC team scored the highest in the legal game of the exercise, German team came out on top of forensic challenges while the team from the United Kingdom achieved the highest scores in handling the strategic communication challenges.
“The winning team demonstrated that good tactics and stable performance in all categories can lead to best overall scores in the end. The experts of the Czech team performed also very well in the strategic track that was a new addition this year,” highlights Aare Reintam, Technical Exercise Director at NATO CCD COE.
“The exercise was particularly challenging for all participants this year due to the increased scope and size of specialised systems involved. The teams had to protect large scale SCADA system controlling the power grid, military AirC2 system, military surveillance drone and Ground Station controlling the drone and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) under intense pressure,” says Reintam. “In the end all the teams have gained a valuable training experience, which is the ultimate goal of this defensive exercise.”
The annual scenario-based real-time network defence exercise focuses on training the security experts who protect national IT systems on a daily basis. In 2017 the Blue Teams are tasked to maintain the services and networks of a military air base of the fictional country, which, according to the exercise scenario, will experience severe attacks on its electric power grid system, drones, military command and control systems and other operational infrastructure. In addition to ordinary business IT environment, several specialised IT systems are introduced to Locked Shields in 2017, reflecting the current threat landscape.
Locked Shields exercise has been organised by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence since 2010. Every year, teams are put under intense pressure to maintain the networks and services of a fictional country. This includes handling and reporting incidents, solving forensic challenges, and responding to legal and strategic communications and scenario injects. To stay abreast of market developments, Locked Shields focuses on realistic and cutting-edge technologies, networks and attack methods.
Locked Shields 2017 is organised in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence University, the British Army, the United States European Command, Air Operations COE and Tallinn University of Technology.
Industry partners in the exercise include Siemens AG, Threod Systems, Cyber Test Systems, Clarified Security, Iptron, Bytelife, Synopsys, BHC Laboratory, openvpn.net, GuardTime and numerous others.
The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE) is a community of nations providing a 360-degree look at cyber defence, with expertise in the areas of technology, strategy, operations and law. The heart of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is a diverse group of international experts from military, government and industry backgrounds.
The Centre is staffed and financed by its sponsoring nations and contributing participants. As of October 2016, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are signed on as Sponsoring Nations of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Austria and Finland have become Contributing Participants, Sweden has applied for membership in the same format, a status eligible for non-NATO countries.