The Cyber Strike exercise featured a live training environment where individuals from different organizations worked on a closed network to disable a malware application.
Law enforcement and criminal justice officers, the Michigan National Guard and industry partners practiced responding to ransomware, computer viruses, spyware and Trojan horses in a joint exercise in March at the National All Domain Warfighting Center.
The inaugural Cyber Strike exercise featured a live training environment where 27 individuals from different organizations worked on a closed network to disable a malware application, according to an Army release.
“We thought it would be a prime opportunity to bring not just industry people together to participate in a cyber training exercise but to also incorporate other cyber partners,” said Steve Jacobs, an industry liaison to the warfighting center and founder of Velocity Management Solutions. “We brought in law enforcement, prosecutors, detectives and the Michigan Air National Guard.”
“It’s extremely important that we work together as a team,” said Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich. “We may know the people who live in our local communities, but we don’t have the overall federal resources of the military or federal government at our fingertips. Our National Guard and the infrastructure within the military have assets and resources we don’t have access to.”
Participants at the training event developed a plan to counter a simulated cyberattack in which multiple systems were infected with the same software and attackers left malware on the network. The exercise allowed participants to build relationships and coordinate their responses as they tried to identify and stop the malware.
“There are analysts working, there is networking, and we have the middle management and upper echelon of command and control all working together,” said Air Force Capt. Shannon Bender, assigned to the 272nd Cyber Operations Squadron, 110th Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The benefit, he said, was getting to know the other local personnel who could potentially help respond to an incident.
“If it is a situation that is threatening people in this area, as a team we are stronger together,” Borkovich said.