Cyber teams deploying to safeguard national security
During the midterm elections last year, U.S. Cyber Command had three teams deployed forward in Europe working with partner nations to “hunt and track” adversaries attempting to disrupt U.S. democratic processes, its commander said Monday.
Gen. Paul M. Nakasone spoke at the Association of the U.S. Army’s “Hot Topics” forum on Army cyber and networks. He said the big difference with defensive cyberspace operations today over a few years ago is the ability to deploy teams forward and project power.
“This was done exquisitely in the midterm elections,” he said, “with three different elements being able to move forward into Europe.”
He said the command was able to tell partner nations “we know that adversaries are within your network and let’s identify them.”
The small deployed elements were able to fall back on larger capabilities here in the states, he said. “Among the key players: an Army team that was able to get on the net and provide effects in support of the defense of our midterm elections,” he added.
Stopping attempts to interfere with democratic processes is one of the ways CYBERCOM supports national security objectives, Nakasone said. Another is stopping adversaries from stealing intellectual property and even personally identifiable information, known as PII.
Recent ransomware attacks in Louisiana and Texas had governors call out their National Guard cyber teams, he said.
Ransomware attacks last month that affected 23 local governments in Texas had that state’s governor call out Army and Air Guard cyber personnel to conduct an assessment and help with recovery efforts.