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NATO Flexes Digital Defense Muscles With Massive Cyber Attack on 'Berylia'

© Sputnik / Alexey Malgavko / Go to the photo bankRansomware attacks global IT systems
Ransomware attacks global IT systems - Sputnik International
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It's April 2018 and the country of "Berylia" is under a cyberattack; internet service providers and military air bases have been breached and the nation's security is deteriorating.

Electricity supplies, 4G networks and drone operations have been disrupted and internet systems are under intense pressure. But relax, Berylia is a virtual country and this is a virtual cyber onslaught organized by NATO and its partners.

Locked Shields 2018 is the biggest live-fire cyber defense exercise in the world, pitting thousands of cyber experts and hackers from 30 different countries against 30 NATO cyber defenders. It's also NATO's opportunity to test out its cyber defense techniques in as realistic an environment as possible, fighting what it calls "world class opponents."

The competition, which takes place over a week, has been organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) based in Estonia. Countries involved have the opportunity to thrash out their chain of command in the event of a cyberattack involving citizens and military systems.

READ MORE: Black Hats, White Hats & the Dark Web: A Quick Guide Through Cyberspace

"I am confident the NCI Agency team is ready to demonstrate their finely tuned cyber-net defense skills." Dr. Gregory Edwards, the NCI Agency's director of infrastructure services said in a statement.

"Locked Shields is a seminal event in training our cyber experts because winning in the exercise environment demonstrates our team is prepared to successfully defend day-to-day against threats." Dr. Edwards went on to say.

NATO's aim for its "tech game" is to "maintain operations of various systems under intense pressure," the strategy involved "should serve as a forum to understand the impact of decisions made at the strategic and policy level."

READ MORE: Hackers More Motivated by Mass Tech Destruction, Report

Back in 2008, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCDCOE) was launched in Tallinn, two years after Estonia gained NATO membership. The center is aimed to provide its member states and NATO members with cyber defense expertise in various areas of technology, strategy, operations and law.

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