US Cyber Operators, SOA Conduct Operation against Malicious Actors

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“This kind of partnership in cybersecurity is essential in today’s world as it expands our reach and capabilities,” SOA director Daniel Markić said, according to a press release.

“International partnerships we built are crucial for preventing numerous state-sponsored cyber-attacks and attacks endangering our national security. The more complex the cyber security challenges become, the more comprehensive our response must be,” he added.

A team made up of U.S. military and civilian personnel worked side-by-side with SOA’s Cyber Security Centre experts, hunting on the prioritized networks of national significance and looking for malicious cyber activity and vulnerabilities.

“For the first time in U.S. Cyber Command history, a team of elite defensive cyber operators deployed to Croatia to hunt for malicious cyber activity on partner networks,” the U.S. Cyber Command said on its website.

Its Cyber National Mission Force (NCMF) routinely conducts “hunt forward operations” globally with the purpose of learning adversary activities for homeland defense and enabling partner nations’ collective cybersecurity, SOA said.

Until 20 August, the United States has conducted 31 hunt forward operations in 17 countries on over 50 foreign networks.

“For us, it isn’t just about hunting on our partner’s networks for similar threats to our networks and then bringing that back home to defend our Nation’s networks,” said the U.S. hunt forward team leader, whose name cannot be used for operational security reasons, per SOA’s press release.

“It was also about the personal relationships we built and the partnership we can grow. I was personally impressed with the level of organization, visibility, and proactivity of the SOA Cyber Security Centre, as we sat side-by-side hunting for bad actors,” he added.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William J. Hartman, commander of the CNMF, said the “best defensive operators” deployed to Croatia. “We want to bring both expertise and talent to our partner nations while seeing cyber adversaries who may be threatening our Nation,” he added.


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