NATO Starts Major Cyber War Games Exercise

More than 16 nations will attend Exercise Locked Shields at the NATO cyber defense centre in Tallinn, Estonia.

According to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence, Locked Shields 2015 is supported by the Government of Canada.

“Locked Shields 2015 is supported by the Government of Canada. The grant covers purchase of technical equipment for the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence cyber lab and supporting services that allowed to increase the capacity of the annual Locked Shields cyber defence exercise.”

More than 400 people will take part in the cyber war games designed to test new attack vectors and active defence. The vectors includes ICS/SCADA system, Windows 8 and 10 operating systems.

“16 nations and NATO Computer Incident Response Capability will participate as the Blue Teams of Locked Shields 2015. A total of 400 people are involved in the excersise. New attack vectors will include ICS/SCADA systems and Windows 8 and 10 operating systems, as well as an element of active defence. The training audience of the exercise is the national Blue Teams: computer emergency response specialists, playing the role of the rapid reaction teams of the fictional country of Berlya.
In addition to technical and forensic challenges, Locked Shields also includes media and legal injects that add real-world considerations. Locked Shields thus provides insight into how complex a modern cyber defence crisis can be, and what is required from nations in order to be able to cope with the threats.”

Locked Shields 2015, a NATO cyber war games.
Locked Shields 2015, a NATO cyber war games.

The NATO cyber defense centre in Estonia is the cyber defense facility of the organization. It is one of the 18 accredited NATO centre of excellence.

“Our mission is to enhance the capability, cooperation and information sharing among NATO, NATO nations and partners in cyber defence by virtue of education, research and development, lessons learned and consultation.”

During a NATO summit last year, President Barrack Obama voiced his concerns over possible cyberattack that could trigger the same response as military aggression. Obama and other NATO leaders then ordered a build-up of NATO’s cyber defence capabilities.

NATO cyber war games are very important due to the augmentation of cyber attacks. China has been very active in conducting cyberwarfare and it is vital for NATO to be able to successfully counter them.

This year’s Locked Shields participating countries is down by one but the number of cyber experts taking part in the cyber war games has risen by about 100.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.