Twelve New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel are using their skills to fend off simulated military cyber-attacks as they take part in training exercises hosted by the United States.
Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, the Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the NZDF participants were among an estimated 2000 personnel from the Five Eyes partner nations taking part in Exercise Cyber Guard and Exercise Cyber Flag.
Both exercises seek to test the mettle of participants in dealing with a notional military cyber crisis with wide-ranging impacts. They are being conducted at a United States Department of Defense facility in Suffolk, Virginia.
“As the global ransomware attack in May has shown, no country is safe from cyber-attacks in our digitally interconnected world,” Air Commodore McEvoy said.
Training exercises were great opportunities to practise and test individual and collective skills, as well as to strengthen the NZDF’s relationships with its partners, he said.
“An effective cyber response is a team response. We need to partner with allied nations to defend our respective networks, so building good relationships through training is important.”
Exercise Cyber Guard and Exercise Cyber Flag, running from 6-30 June, focus on responding to effective cyber-attacks against networks and systems in use across the full spectrum of military operations.
Teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States are responding to the simulated military cyber-attacks as a coalition force. This is the fourth consecutive year that the NZDF has participated in Exercise Cyber Flag, which started in 2010.