The Locked Shields exercise will place as much focus on grey zone activities as it will on the …

I’ve been tangentially involved in this exercise in previous years. The scope is a lot wider than the typical red team vs. blue team but we can all learn from the experience…:

[…] Dr Adrian Venables, a British academic who has been involved in the exercise for the past seven years, explained to Sky News that the information warfare aspects were a new twist added in for 2021.

“This year for the first time, we’ve got added realism, a more complicated scenario, bringing with it some of the information warfare aspects, which NATO’s adversaries are extremely proficient at,” Dr Venables said.

“The information battle is in many respects, as important as the more conventional cyber battle,” he said, noting how during wartime an adversary could attempt to convince a civilian population that NATO was the aggressor and painting itself as a liberating force.

“What we’re trying to do is to give the teams a more rounded and comprehensive experience where they have to think about more things,” he said.

One scenario could be convincing the target population that the water supply has failed due to government mismanagement, rather than a cyber attack, potentially turning the population against the government rather than recognising the threat.

“We’ve got a simulated social media, where we’ve got disinformation being produced – we’ve got continuing intelligence reports for the teams, we’ve got a simulated news service,” Dr Venables added.

“So the teams have to monitor lots of different aspects of the exercise – we’ve even got some deep fakes, to play video that we’ve produced in house – and all of these things give the teams a very realistic and genuine experience.

“And after seeing this, they should be able to interpret the passage of events and be able to anticipate where they’re going to be attacked, and how they’re going to respond,” he said.[…]

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