The Joint Cyber Defense Command will lead the national team that will participate in the cyber-exercise "Locked Shields 18"

09 May 2018
2 Minutes of reading

Spain will be represented in the cyber-exercise, which will take place between April 23 and 27, by a team led by the MCCD from its facilities in the Joint Base of Retamares. The Joint Cyber Defense Command (MCCD) will lead, from its facilities in the Joint Base of Retamares, in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), the national team that will participate in the cyber-exercises "Locked Shields 18", which will take place from the 23rd to 27th of April. The "Locked Shields" (LS) is the largest and most complex international cyber defense exercise, organized annually by the Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCD-CoE), located in Tallinn (Estonia). Of a fundamentally technical nature, it has a very advanced scenario that includes around 4,000 virtualized devices that, in total, receive more than 2,500 attacks. The first edition of the LS was held in 2010. Spain, which was the founding nation of the CCD-CoE and is represented in its Steering Committee, participated in this first edition as an observer and has since always taken part as a full player. Twenty-two teams participate in this edition, 16 of them from NATO countries and 4 from other nations (Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland), as well as the NATO Incident Response Centers (NCIRC) and the European Union. This means a total of about 1,000 participants. The LS18 has an approach based on a technical game of confrontation between fictitious teams: own forces (Blue Team), adversary (Red Team) and a team that represents the actors of strategic scope outside the specifically military scope (White Team). The exercise is performed in a laboratory environment (cyber range) and establishes a classification based on a complex scoring system that can be observed in real time. The main objectives of the exercise are:

  • Training in large-scale cyber- attacks.
  • Training of legal advisors in case of incidents in the network.
  • The application of the process of lessons learned to the tactics used by Blue Teams and Red Teams.
  • Progress in the field of international cooperation in cyber-defense.
  • The reinforcement of the ICT security community, based on the exchange of information.
  • Training of communication departments before requests and questions from the media.

The scenario raises a situation in which the Blue Teams, which represent Rapid Reaction Teams (RRT), are featured to support a friendly nation. The RRT must understand and evaluate the situation, and maintain the availability, confidentiality and integrity of the services in a complex network that is subject to cyber-attacks. For this, they have a very short space of time to familiarize themselves with an a priori unknown environment, which has a large number of vulnerabilities. In addition to the technical challenges, others arise in the social communication and legal field, and the sharing of information and collaboration with other teams is valued. Spain will participate with a Blue team, composed mostly of MCCD personnel, and will include representatives from the Army, the Navy, the Royal Guard, the Civil Guard, the National Cybersecurity Institute of Spain (INCIBE), the National Center for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures (CNPIC) and the companies Telefónica and S2 Grupo. The MCCD will also provide participants to the attacking team, i.e., the Red Team (RT) and the leadership team, the "White Team" (WT). More information: