Locked Shields 2024: Supporting the Irish NCSC team in NATO’s cyber defence exercise


Every year, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) runs Locked Shields, the world’s most advanced cyber defence exercise that is designed to help nations strengthen their defences against sophisticated cyber threats.

This year, BAE Systems Digital Intelligence were invited to support and participate alongside Ireland’s representatives. Their contribution was focused on the Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) and Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) components. The team participated in a ‘capture the flag’ style exercise including a live environment ransomware scenario, tasked with analysing approximately 140 GB of forensic evidence – simulating real cyber-attacks on a large virtual set of networks representing a country’s critical national infrastructure – to uncover the answers to a series of questions. This involved carrying out initial assessments and triaging of systems data and logs, putting the data through various tools to pinpoint indicators of stolen data and/or malicious files dropped.


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