NATO cyber exercise incorporates ‘cyber-kinetic’ engagement


Participants gather around a screen during Locked Shields 2016. (Photo Credit: CCDCOE)

Participants in a recent exercise organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence experienced an element of cyber-kinetic engagement during a responsive defense scenario.

Crossed Swords 2017, an early February operation by the Tallinn, Estonia-based international military organization, focused on developing the tactical execution skills of specialists to fill the roll of the attacking team in sister exercise Locked Shields.

Penetration testers, digital forensics professionals, situational awareness experts and members of special forces were tasked with retrieving electronic equipment and data storage devices as part of a realistic mission to regain control of a specific military system.

Once prepared, these “opposing forces” for Locked Shields assist in the training of evidence gathering and information analysis for technical attribution as well as identifying and stopping malicious activities.

More information on Crossed Swords 2017 and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence can be found at