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Cyber defense exercises called Locked Shields were conducted by NATO in Estonia

A cyber organisation recognised by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will undertake the world’s largest and most complicated “live-fire” cyber defence drills. The biennial Locked Shields event, according to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Estonia, is designed to improve the skills of cybersecurity experts protecting national IT systems and vital infrastructure against real-time attacks.

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Key Points:

  • The participants are sent to help a fake country deal with a massive cyberattack.
  • Over 2,000 people from 32 countries, including Ukraine, are expected to take part in the event.
  • The Locked Shields event this year takes place in the midst of the ongoing war in Ukraine, in which hacking has played a steady, albeit minor, role in Russia’s invasion. Hackers linked to the Russian government have been accused of assaulting Ukrainian government offices and attempting to break into the power infrastructure.
  • According to government officials, Ukrainian enterprises have also been subjected to regular cyberattacks.
  • Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government has aided in the organisation of a group of hacktivists who have carried out cyberattacks in Russia.
  • Concerns about cyberattacks, though, have expanded well beyond the battlefield. Finland reported a cyber-attack on government websites earlier this month, just as rumours grew that the Nordic country may apply to join NATO. As a result, US President Joe Biden has advised American firms to brace for retaliatory cyberattacks.
  • According to the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Centre, or FS-ISAC, which helped design the virtual systems to look realistic and the simulated attacks on the sector, five to ten large financial institutions will participate this year, including Mastercard Inc. and Banco Santander SA.
  • The institution is one of more than two dozen worldwide military organisations that teach and educate leaders and specialists from NATO members and partners.
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