Massive cyber attack targets mid-Atlantic nation 'Berylia'

NATO exercise offers the chance to test full chain of cyber-defence command

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NATO and assorted partners have unleashed a massive cyber-attack on the fictional country of Berylia to test their ability to defend critical infrastructure against outside attacks.

The virtual country will suffer its virtual attack under NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence's (CCDCOE) Locked Shields 2018, which CCDCOE described as the world's “largest and most advanced international live-fire cyber defence exercise”.

The ping-ping-ping-pew-pew-pew was scheduled to run from April 23rd to April 27th, and NATO said it will let participants “practice the entire chain of command” (all the way from hoodie-clad attackers using anachronistic green screens up, El Reg presumes), covering civilian and military systems and capabilities.

The scenario for the exercise sees Berylia under attack on multiple fronts: someone (cough, cough, Russia?) has the resources to coordinate attacks on an ISP and a military air base, along the way disrupting “the electric power grid, 4G public safety networks, drone operation and other critical infrastructure components.”

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Techs involved in the exercise were tasked with keeping the notional nation's networks alive, while “the strategic part should serve as a forum to understand the impact of decisions made at the strategic and policy level”, NATO's announcement said.

Nations beyond NATO are also playing: countries as distant as Australia will also join as observers.

The organisational credits for Locked Shields 2018 go to CCDCOE, the defence forces of Estonia and Finland, the Swedish Defence University, the British Joint Army, the US European Command, the Republic of Korea's National Security Research Institute, the Tallinn University of Technology, with industry input from Siemens, Ericsson, Bittium, Goodmill, Threod Systems, Cyber Test Systems, Clarified Security, Iptron, Bytelife, BHC Laboratory, openvpn.net, GuardTime and others.

The Register understands that Locked Shields 2019 will involve an attack on NATO by The Duchy of Grand Fenwick. ®

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