A team from the Czech Republic won the 2017 edition of the Locked Shields cyber defense exercise organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn. The Estonian and NCIRC teams came in second and third place, respectively.
The defensive team from the Czech Republic also took home a special prize for the scenario inject. The NCIRC (NATO Computer Incident Response Capability) team scored the highest in the exercise's legal game, while the German team came out on top in forensic challenges and the U.K. achieved the highest scores in handling strategic communication challenges, spokespeople for the CCD COE said.
"The winning team demonstrated that good tactics and stable performance in all categories can lead to the best overall scores in the end," said Aare Reintam, technical exercise director at CCD COE. "The experts of the Czech team also performed very well in the strategic track, which was a new addition thi year."
According to Reintam, the exercise was especially challenging for all participants this year due to the increased scope and size of the specialized systems involved. "The teams had to protect a large-scale SCADA system controlling the power grid, a military AirC2 system, a military surveillance drone, the ground station controlling th drone and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) under intense pressure," he described. "In the end, all the teams have gained valuable training experience, which is the ultimate goal of this defensive exercise."
The annual scenario-based real-time network defense exercise focuses on training security experts who protect national IT systems on a daily basis. In 2017, the Blue Teams were tasked with maintaining the services and networks of a military air base of a fictional country which, according to the exercise scenario, experienced severe attacks on its electric power grid system, drones, military command as well as control systems and other operational infrastructure. In addition to the ordinary business IT environment, several specialized IT systems were introduced to Locked Shields in 2017, reflecting the current threat landscape.
The Locked Shields exercise has been organized by the NATO CCD COE in Tallinn since 2010.
Locked Shields 2017 was organized 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 included Siemens AG, Threod Systems, Cyber Test Systems, Clarified Security, Iptron, Bytelife, BHC Laboratory, openvpn.net and Guardtime, among others.
Editor: Aili Vahtla