17 June 2016
Sixteen New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will fend off simulated cyber attacks as they take part in a large-scale training exercise hosted by the United States from 17-30 June.
Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the NZDF team is joining forces with around 2000 personnel from the Five Eyes partner nations in responding to attacks from a dynamic and skilled adversary during Exercise Cyber Flag 16.
Cyber Flag is being held at a United States Department of Defense facility in Suffolk, Virginia. To ensure a realistic training environment, participants are using systems that simulate the allied information networks and adversary networks.
“Over a two-week period, we will be under constant bombardment from an opposing force that uses a range of tactics. For our part, we will try to ensure military operations continue in the face of these cyber attacks,” said Wing Commander Rhys Taylor, Senior National Officer of the NZDF contingent.
“The nature and intensity of the attacks will differ for each of the participating nations so the learning potential for all participants is likely to be significant,” he said.
Teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States will respond to the cyber attacks as a coalition, allowing participants to practise interoperability and defence. This is the third consecutive year that the NZDF has participated in Exercise Cyber Flag, which began in 2010.
“Exercises such as Cyber Flag test participants’ readiness and response capability so they are a great opportunity for us to learn how to better defend our networks while strengthening our relationships with partners,” MAJGEN Gall said.
“Although we are all using the same tools to defend our respective networks, it will be great to learn how other countries are using those tools to defend their systems,” he said.
Issued by Defence Public Affairs: 021 487 980