Information Security News
mailing list archives
Air Force hackers win NSA's 13th annual Cyber Defense Exercise
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 00:54:00 -0500 (CDT)
By Ms. Smith
Did you hear about the big game last week? Perhaps not, since as "this annual
battle might not yet have achieved the same mythic status as, say, the
Army-Navy football game," but there was a simulated cyberwar being waged from
April 16 - 18. During the NSA's 13th annual Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX),
sponsored by the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate (IAD), "nearly 60
government experts - sitting under a black skull and crossbones flag - worked
around the clock this week to break into computer networks built by students at
the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies." Two
military graduate schools, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Royal Military
College of Canada, also participated.
According to the NSA press release, "The U.S. Air Force Academy won this year's
Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), gaining its fourth trophy - and its first
consecutive victory - since the annual competition began in 2001."
"If you were a boxer, and you never stepped into the ring before and Mohamed
Ali or Mike Tyson gave you a couple of pops, it would be difficult for you to
defend yourself had you never had any practice," Bill Stackpole told CSO; he is
an associate professor who teaches network security at the Rochester Institute
of Technology. "These competitions give you practice on the receiving end."
The NSA was the red team, "pretending to be the bad guys," stated Collegiate
Cyber Defense Competition Director Dwayne Williams. "Their job was to break
into each of the military academy's teams' network, steal information from
them, shut down their services, degrade their capabilities -- that sort of
thing." Due to time constraints of this simulated cyberwar, NSA hackers were a
bit "louder" than if this were nation state or other bad actor hackers trying
to covertly break into infrastructure. Yet "the attack tools are the same --
probe the network, scan the network, break into the network, put in backdoors,
steal information, set up dummy accounts and disrupt capabilities."
Visit the InfoSec News Security Bookstore
Best Selling Security Books and More!
- Air Force hackers win NSA's 13th annual Cyber Defense Exercise InfoSec News (Apr 22)