World´s Largest International Live-Fire Cyber Exercise to be Launched Next Week

Next week NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) organises Locked Shields 2019, the largest and most advanced international live-fire cyber exercise in the world. The annual exercise is a unique opportunity for national cyber experts to practise protection of national IT systems and critical infrastructure under the intense pressure of a severe cyberattack. Media accreditation deadline to the exercise is Monday, April 8th 2019.

In 2019 Locked Shields exercise taking place on 8-12 April will highlight the increased need for a better functional understanding between various experts and decision-making levels. The organizers integrate the technical and strategic game, enabling participating nations to practice the entire chain of command in the event of a severe cyber incident, from strategic to operational level and involving both civilian and military capabilities. Considering the current cyber threats that are concerning nations the most, the exercise will address the protection of vital services and critical infrastructure.

According to the scenario, a fictional island country, Berylia, is experiencing a deteriorating security situation. This falls at a critical time for Berylia as the country is conducting national elections. A number of hostile events coincide with coordinated cyberattacks against major civilian ITC systems. The attacks cause severe disruptions in the operation of water purification systems, the electric power grid, 4G public safety networks, maritime awareness capability and other critical infrastructure components. The cyber-attacks also effect national perception of election results, leading to public unrest. Participants train as national cyber rapid reaction teams that are deployed to assist Berylia in handling a large-scale cyber incident. While the aim of the tech game is to maintain the operation of various systems under intense pressure, the strategic part addresses the capability to understand national coordination mechanisms, law enforcement options and strategic communication.

While the organisers of the exercise gather in Tallinn, Estonia, the participating Blue Teams set up secure online access from their home base.

Locked Shields 2019 is organised by CCDCOE in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the United States European Command, National Security Research Institute of the Republic of Korea and TalTech. Industry partners in the exercise include Siemens AG, Elisa, Cybernetica, Cisco, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Arctic Security, Clarified Security, Iptron, Bytelife, BHC Laboratory, Bolt and many others.

Media briefing, walk-through of the exercise and interviews with key experts will take place on Wednesday 10 April at 14.00-15.00. Right after, there is an opportunity to visit the Estonian Blue Team in another location.

 For accreditation and access to the briefing, please send details (name as it appears in the passport, citizenship, passport/ID card number, list of technical equipment) and if you want to visit the Estonian Blue Team, to [email protected]  

 Media accreditation deadline is 12.00 pm (EST) on Monday, 8 April.

Additional information:

Aari Lemmik

Head of Communications

NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence

[email protected]

+372 5060224