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Education Security The Military IT

Real-World Cyber City Used To Train Cyber Warriors 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the augmented-reality-mmo-for-hackers dept.
Orome1 writes "NetWars CyberCity is a small-scale city located close by the New Jersey Turnpike complete with a bank, hospital, water tower, train system, electric power grid, and a coffee shop. It was developed to teach cyber warriors from the U.S. military how online actions can have kinetic effects. Developed in response to a challenge by U.S. military cyber warriors, NetWars CyberCity is an intense defensive training program organized around missions. 'We've built over eighteen missions, and each of them challenges participants to devise strategies and employ tactics to thwart computer attacks that would cause significant real-world damage,' commented Ed Skoudis, SANS Instructor and NetWars CyberCity Director."
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Real-World Cyber City Used To Train Cyber Warriors

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  • by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @03:53PM (#42121303) Homepage

    NetWars CyberCity is a small-scale city located close by the New Jersey Turnpike complete with a bank, hospital, water tower, train system, electric power grid, and a coffee shop.

    You take out the electricity, and we will all stumble around wondering how to connect to the net...
    You take out the coffee shop, and you will find us all focused on your destruction (or on finding another source of coffee, whichever happens first.)

    and... just to keep this one going: http://xkcd.com/705/ [xkcd.com]

    • "When you lose control of cyberspace, you lose control of the physical world," said Eric Bassel, director at the SANS Institute.

      Just think about that the next time your Internet connection goes out.

      Cyber warriors will be presented with potential real-world attacks; their job is to defend against them. Missions will include fending off attacks on the city's power company, hospital, water system and transportation services.

      Disconnect from the Internet or firewall.
      Firewall.
      Disconnect from the Internet or firew

  • Should these things not be on their own separate networks? Do we really need the water tower connected to the internet.

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)
      As long as the director of the water treatment plant doesn't want to drive in to work at 3 am in the morning to press a button to fix a problem... yes. Good luck making the security through obscurity argument to that person.
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        VPN? The network itself is not on the internet, but you have a protected access path through it.

        • by Synerg1y (2169962)
          A determined enough attacker(s) can punch through just about anything in time. The only way to truly secure a network permanently is to unplug it from the rest of the world. VPN isn't an exception.

          Consider how many government organizations have been compromised by an email with an attachment or a link lately. With just that single port open to the water's network, multiple attack vectors immediately present themselves that don't necessarily involve brute forcing the vpn.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        How are air-gap network isolation practices "security through obscurity?"

        Slashdot just keeps getting dumber.

        • by Synerg1y (2169962)
          lmfao, it's the most extreme form in a 1/2 joking format, now crawl back in your troll hole newb.

          P.S. air gapping a network involves A LOT more than unplugging the ethernet cord, but what would you know about it?
      • by JohnFen (1641097)

        As long as the director of the water treatment plant doesn't want to drive in to work at 3 am in the morning to press a button to fix a problem... yes. Good luck making the security through obscurity argument to that person.

        I think you mean the engineer, not director. In any case, it's an easy argument to make: "This is one of the job requirements. Comply with it or be replaced."

    • I wouldn't be surprised if the mayor and council or DPW chief of some small town arranged to have their water tower wired by some lowest-bid contractor just to show off to other local small towns. "Your town installed halogen street lamps in the commercial district? Well mine just put our water supply on the 'information superhighway'! Check it out, the password is '1-2-3-4' . . ."
  • do they wear combat gear while on a mission?
  • The article is confusing... Don't the military have massive basements for this sort of thing? They do in movies. Why the New Jersey Turnpike?
    • by Stu_28 (83254)

      Why the New Jersey Turnpike?

      It doesn't say where it actually is, but if it is a military thing, it would be at a military base. And Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is a short drive from the New Jersey Turnpike...

  • "devise strategies and employ tactics to thwart computer attacks". It's well known that defensive military training teaches offensive skills first to teach defensive skills. Personnel trained to find bugs are trained to plant them. Personnel trained to secure areas and material are trained to pick locks and open safes. So NetWars CyberCity might follow the example.
    • by rioki (1328185)
      But it makes sense, to a certain degree. I have seen so many corporate security people that can't put themselves into the attackers shoes and thus miss obvious attack vectors. With purely defensive training, all they can do is repeat the good practices they learned, but not devise a defense strategy for their special case.
  • by thoughtlover (83833) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @04:16PM (#42121611)
    So if you're just some shmo in your parents' basement, you're a hacker (or cracker.. or worst, a terrorist), but when you're part of the military, you're a friggin 'cyber warrior'?? Seriously, that's just fucking stupid.
    • by Lashat (1041424)

      Wait. You're mad at the spin of military focused training names sounding military, but other labels you don't feel are as cool applying to non-military?

  • by Cornwallis (1188489) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @04:16PM (#42121623)

    Glad to see ALL the bases are covered...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The word "cyber" is like "cloud" or "pirate". Every time you hear it, you know for a fact, that the writer doesn't know shit about computers or the Internet. Same goes for iDevice (/ Win 8/Phone) and Twitter users, but they additionally like to pretend they are "hip" in a ridiculously cringe-worthy fashion. At least they got that cringe-worthiness part in common with the former group.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    worst post of the day.

    "The town is a virtual place that exists only on computer networks run by a New Jersey-based security firm working under contract with the U.S. Air Force. Computers simulate communications and operations, including e-mail, heating systems, a railroad and an online social networking site, dubbed FaceSpace"

    "CyberCity itself fits in a six by eight foot area and was created using miniature buildings and houses, the underlying power control systems, hospital software, and other infrastructu

  • by dgharmon (2564621) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @04:56PM (#42122117) Homepage
    'We've built over eighteen missions, and each of them challenges participants to devise strategies and employ tactics to thwart computer attacks that would cause significant real-world damage'

    Then don't connect your vital infrastructure to the INTERNET !!!
    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Do you have any idea how expensive it is to build a network that is as robust and redundant as the Internet? Really, you just need to firewall and then tunnel everything with encryption.
  • seems like over kill for cyber wars.

    Can do the same in small scare and you can even crash some model trains as part of some missions.

  • Looks like the generals want to solve the hacker threat in the traditional ways, trying to get some soldiers learn to hack. God forbid they trust civilian whitehats.

    • Looks like the generals want to solve the hacker threat in the traditional ways, trying to get some soldiers learn to hack. God forbid they trust civilian whitehats.

      (God forbid they trust civilian whitehats.)

      Who do you think they are recruiting right now?
      Need a job?

    • by elucido (870205)

      Looks like the generals want to solve the hacker threat in the traditional ways, trying to get some soldiers learn to hack. God forbid they trust civilian whitehats.

      Trust shouldn't be in the equation when you're talking about cyberwar and hacking. It's more who has the skills and who is competent? The human being cannot be trusted in any information security equation or scenario as the human being is always the weak link. That is one of the first things you should learn.

  • That's "killing people and breaking stuff" to you and me.

  • Sounds like a secure place. I mean, if that won't slow them, they're screwed anyway.

    • by Bryansix (761547)
      In "Being John Malkovich" you would shoot out onto the side of the New Jersey Turnpike once you got kicked out of his brain.
  • oh joy
    time to teach stupid a lesson

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=HlZRcxvGIWE&NR=1 [youtube.com]

    Thank God someone will be out there to defend us against stuff like this.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec

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