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National Guard is preparing for a major cyberattack to shut down utilities across the United States

After the hacking of the Colonial Pipeline shook the country’s fuel supply, the National Guard is preparing for a major cyberattack that shuts down utilities across the United States.

In this month’s two-week training exercise, troops across the New England region practiced tackling large-scale simulated violations across critical infrastructure sectors such as electricity, water, and gas.

In this exercise, a large-scale cyberattack targeted utilities on the west coast and then moved eastward across the country.

As in the actual scenario, the National Guard works with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity and infrastructure security agencies, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, government agencies such as the US Cybercommand, and utility partners in the private sector. And respond to the crisis.

This crisis was a simulation, but such attacks are becoming more and more possible.

A recent series of catastrophic attacks has sent warning signs about the risks that cybersecurity breaches can pose to the country’s infrastructure.

When the Colonial Pipeline was targeted by hackers in May, it had to shut down its entire network, which carries 45% of all fuel to the East Coast, causing a nationwide fuel crisis with rising gas prices.

A few weeks later, the food supply chain was hit when hackers led to a four-day closure of a factory belonging to America’s largest beef supplier, JBS.

After the hacking of the Colonial Pipeline shook the country’s fuel supply, the National Guard is preparing for a major cyberattack that shuts down utilities across the United States. Photo of 2 weeks training exercise

Armies from across the New England region practiced tackling large-scale simulated breaches across critical infrastructure sectors, including electricity, water, and gas, during the Cyber ​​Yankee event (above).

Armies from across the New England region practiced tackling large-scale simulated breaches across critical infrastructure sectors, including electricity, water, and gas, during the Cyber ​​Yankee event (above).

The Cyber ​​Yankee event, held over the past seven years at Camp Edwards in Cape Cod, tested the ability of National Guard cyber units to respond to real-world cyber attacks and trained them to work with the government. Industry partner.

The army was divided into the Blue Team, a security guard and industry partner who played a unique role in responding to cybersecurity breaches, and the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve, the Red Team, disguised as threat actors.

Due to the pandemic, industry and government partners participated in the exercises in remote areas.

In this exercise, you practiced with the new Cyber ​​9-Line tool. This tool allows state guard units in individual states to pass information about potential threats to centralized cybercommands.

Similarly, Cyber ​​Command can alert state units about threats.

Major Michael Franks of the 6th Communications Battalion, head of cyberwarfare at DCO-IDM company Bravo, told C4ISRNET that authorities need to understand how they work to defend against attackers.

“To be an effective defender of your network, you need to know what your enemy’s TTP is. [tactics, techniques and procedures] “He said.

“Here we perform cyber threat emulation and actually perform the OCO steps. [offensive cyber operations] And by experiencing what the enemy expects us to do, we have a better idea of ​​how to protect our network.

“It is very valuable for them to have the opportunity to do it from this side.”

This year was the first year the gas pipeline sector was involved in the exercise-just weeks after the Colonial Pipeline attack (picture of Colonial Pipeline's Peram Junction and Tank Farm in Pelham, Alabama).

This year was the first year the gas pipeline sector was involved in the exercise-just weeks after the Colonial Pipeline attack (picture of Colonial Pipeline’s Peram Junction and Tank Farm in Pelham, Alabama).

Exxon Station in Washington, DC is seen running out of gas in May after a cyberattack has neutralized the country's largest fuel pipeline

Exxon Station in Washington, DC is seen running out of gas in May after a cyberattack has neutralized the country’s largest fuel pipeline

Lieutenant Cameron Sprague, J6 and CIO of the Connecticut Air National Guard and Deputy Exercise Director of the Cyber ​​Yankee, told C4ISRNET that it would be difficult to perform realistic exercises.

“It’s very difficult to operate effectively in an incident-responsive environment,” he said.

“When walking this, many teams first talk about how to actually implement an incident response plan.

“That’s the big point of this. That’s why many of them come back every year.”

Major Ryan Mylar, Head of State Cyber ​​Operations for the Connecticut Army National Guard, told the outlet that one of the main objectives of the exercise was to build trust among private sectors, the National Guard, and various government agencies. Told.

“We’re doing it in an athletic environment, so when that happens, we’re already from the National Guard, but their relationships from all of our critical infrastructure, federal, provincial, and state partners. Has been established, “Miller said.

“We have established those lines of communication, which makes it much easier to get together and respond.”

In this exercise, you practiced with the new Cyber ​​9-Line tool. This tool allows state guard units in individual states to pass information about potential threats to centralized cybercommands.

In this exercise, you practiced with the new Cyber ​​9-Line tool. This tool allows state guard units in individual states to pass information about potential threats to centralized cybercommands.

The Marines speak to visitors during Cyber ​​Yankee 21 at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts. The exercise included a huge cyberattack targeting utilities on the west coast before moving east across the country.

The Marines speak to visitors during Cyber ​​Yankee 21 at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts. In this exercise, a large-scale cyberattack targeted utilities on the west coast and then moved eastward across the country.

Security guards worked with government agencies (including the FBI) ​​and private sector utility partners to respond to the crisis

Security guards worked with government agencies (including the FBI) ​​and private sector utility partners to respond to the crisis

Each year, additional partners join to attend the event.

This was the first year that the gas pipeline sector was involved and occurred just weeks after the Colonial Pipeline attack.

The pipeline went offline on May 7 in an attack, shutting down 2.5 million barrels of fuel per day along the route from Texas to New Jersey.

The hack is a national fuel crisis in which thousands of gas stations run out of fuel, drivers compete to fill their cars, and for the first time since 2014, push the national average price of gasoline above $ 3. Caused concern.

Officials said hacking was the most devastating cyberattack on energy infrastructure in American history.

Responsibility was leveled in Russia or the criminal cyber group Dark Side, which is believed to be based in Eastern Europe associated with Russia.

Colonial Pipeline has invested about $ 5 million in Dark Side to bring the pipeline back online as soon as possible.

Cybersecurity was a major issue between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at the G7 Summit last week (pictured).

Cybersecurity was a major issue between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at the G7 Summit last week (pictured).

Only a few weeks later, JBS was the victim of an attack, forced to shut down its computer server, and shut down its meat production system at a US factory for four days.

US officials are now pledged to strengthen the country’s defenses against cybercriminals by announcing the creation of a new inter-ministerial task force by the White House to better coordinate its response to attacks.

Cybersecurity was a major issue between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden at the G7 Summit last week.

Biden told Putin that certain critical infrastructures should be “off limits” to cyber attacks.

Putin denied Russia was behind a recent hacking attack.

The FBI also puts cybersecurity on the agenda in its draft budget for fiscal year 2022, which includes an additional $ 40 million for cybersecurity research.

It also includes an additional $ 15 million to help the FBI improve its own cybersecurity.

National Guard is preparing for a major cyberattack to shut down utilities across the United States

Source link National Guard is preparing for a major cyberattack to shut down utilities across the United States

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