U.S. Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, (II MIG), and Marine Forces Cyber Command participated in Exercise Cyber Fury 2020 at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 17-28, 2020.
The exercise put to test the Marines’ abilities to hunt down infiltrating adversaries and remove them from government networks. The challenge, doing it all without shutting down the network.
“This exercise is important because we are trying to set a standard for the DCO–IDM [Defensive Cyber Operations- Internal Defensive Measures] Companies in the Marine Corps,” said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Christian Booe, a cyberspace defensive operator with Delta Company, 8th Communication Battalion, II MIG. “We’ve been evaluated on that standard by implementing simulated adversaries whom were taking actions on a live network. This will help us refine our standard operating procedures and get a feel for what that would look like in a real-world scenario.”
Defensive Cyber Operations-Internal Defensive Measures, or DCO-IDMs, enable and enhance the warfighting abilities of a Marine commander in an increasingly contested operational environment, including operations in and through cyberspace. These capabilities include defense against computer network attacks, electronic warfare, information operations and military deception.
Simulated adversaries attempted to thwart the Marines through theft of important documents and data, uploading of malicious files embedded in scripts and phishing of participants.
The Marines responded by gathering network traffic and sifted through the data to find anomalies. Once they discovered the anomalies, the Marines would hunt down the adversaries and remove them from the network.
“This was a great training opportunity,” said Sgt. Samuel Solberg, a cyberspace defensive operator with Delta Company, 8th Communication Battalion, II MIG. “We got to communicate and work with reservists and we were able to accomplish the mission by combining our different perspectives and skill sets when confronted with a problem.”
As the Marine Corps continues to move up in the cyberspace realm, the Marines are ready to mitigate the nation’s cyber threats whenever, wherever.