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    Cyber Yankee 2021



    Story by Lance Cpl. Mitchell Collyer 

    Marine Forces Reserve

    CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. – Reserve and active Marines joined together to participate in Cyber Yankee at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts from June 14-18, 2021.
    Cyber Yankee, an exercise hosted by the New Hampshire National Guard, trains military members and civilian agencies to combat potential cyber attacks on water, power, transportation and gas utilities.
    Reserve Marines with Defensive Cyberspace Operations-Internal Defensive Measures (DCO-IDM) Companies A and B, 6th Communication Battalion, worked with their active duty counterparts from 8th Communication Battalion to serve as the “red team,” or the attack force for the exercise.
    “Cyber Yankee is a cyber security focused exercise in the northeast New England region where the different branches can come together,” said Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Camp, the senior enlisted advisor and defensive cyber operator for 102nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron in the Air National Guard. “The premise is focused on civilian or state organizations that can potentially be compromised directly impacting communities or lives across the New England area.”
    The “red team” worked together to hack simulated utilities in real-time using usernames, passwords and simulated credit card numbers to gain access to the utility’s websites, and to shut the utilities down completely.
    The Marines used a phishing email containing a link sent to a simulated person in human resources of the utility company. Once the link was clicked on, it uploaded a virus into the network and the virus was able to spread.
    “This is helping to provide the training to more of a municipal level, which is where most of these actions are taken,” said Sgt. James Mackey, red cell noncommissioned officer in charge with the 126th Cyber Protection Battalion of the Army National Guard. “I think that in the future we will see municipalities play a bigger role and I think that’s kind of the natural evolution of the exercise.”
    The “blue team’s” role was to track down beacons left behind by the red team and shut them down without shutting down their own websites.
    The ability for Reserve Marines to integrate with active duty Marines and service members from other branches provided a valuable training experience as cyber threats continue to evolve and threaten national security.
    “This exercise is significant because we are able to focus mainly on cyber, and diversifying our training allows us to stay relevant in this field because it changes daily,” said 1st Lt. Zoe Green, cyberspace officer for Defensive Cyberspace Operations-Internal Defensive Measures (DCO-IDM), Company D, 8th Communication Battalion. “I think this is sort of a proof of concept in integrating reservists and active-duty Marines because the skill sets can be shared across the Marine Corps.”



    Date Taken: 06.18.2021
    Date Posted: 06.25.2021 14:15
    Story ID: 399669
    Location: CAMP EDWARDS, MA, US 

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