×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Real-World Cyber City Used To Train Cyber Warriors

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the augmented-reality-mmo-for-hackers dept.

Education 59

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."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

59 comments

Sounds fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121243)

Can the rest of us play too?!

Doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121255)

They built a physical city to train people for virtual wars?

That takes wastefulness to artful places.

Re:Doing it wrong (4, Informative)

Shoten (260439) | about a year ago | (#42121569)

They have it wrong. It's on a tabletop. The goal of NetWars is to have a predefined and cheap proving ground for doing cyber war games, essentially. It doesn't require a literal city. And the tabletop thing is for the "ooh and ahhh" factor with brass.

From the recent SANS NewsBite entry about it:

The Air Force's NetWars cyber simulator won the 2011 National Cybersecurity Innovation Award presented by Howard Schmidt, then White House cyber advisor. CyberCity is the next generation of NetWars. Low cost cybersecurity flight simulators have been the "holy grail" in advanced cybersecurity training for the military, banks and the most advanced consulting firms for more than a decade. Ed Skoudis' team and the Air Force created the first affordable cyber range.

to go off on a tangent... (1)

zugedneb (601299) | about a year ago | (#42121259)

...when all the work is done by machines, and we are all out of jobs, what other things will we do apart from go mad, and be clubbed down by various forces in various interesting ways?

Re:to go off on a tangent... (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42121493)

There's... sex, drugs, & rock n' roll... but maybe not for most slashdotters, enjoy your insanity sir.

Re:to go off on a tangent... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#42127959)

...when all the work is done by machines, and we are all out of jobs, what other things will we do apart from go mad, and be clubbed down by various forces in various interesting ways?

When no one has to work, hopefully we can spend our time enjoying ourselves rather than utterly wasting a third to a half of our waking lives.

Anyone who would go mad without work is mad.

Don't F*** with our Coffee! (3, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | about a year ago | (#42121303)

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]

You left off the best quote. (1)

khasim (1285) | about a year ago | (#42121721)

"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 firewall.
And, finally, firewall.

Advanced training will include finding the wireless access points that idiots have brought in from home so that they can run their iPhones.

Why is this shit connected to the internet? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42121355)

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

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42121535)

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.

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#42122203)

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

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42122513)

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.

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122421)

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

Slashdot just keeps getting dumber.

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42123539)

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?

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42124295)

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

lmfao, it's the most extreme form in a 1/2 joking format

Really? :) Explain.

now crawl back in your troll hole newb.

Keep that hustle going kid. Puff your chest and talk shit and maybe your bosses won't find out you're just a buzzword-slinging bullshit artist. ( malappropriate rants about 'Security through Obscurity' are a dead giveaway. )

 

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

It is in fact nothing more than that. More importantly, it is nothing less.

You are a fuckwit.

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42149219)

Haha, let's read the first line here: Security through obscurity [wikipedia.org]

Security through obscurity is a pejorative referring to a principle in security engineering, which attempts to use secrecy of design or implementation to provide security

Now let's think a bit, secrecy of design... offline, that's pretty secret. Moving along, let's read a bit more from wikipedia Air gap networking [wikipedia.org]

The concept represents nearly the maximum protection one network can have from another (save turning the device off). It is not possible for packets or datagrams to "leap" across the air gap from one network to another, but software such as Stuxnet has been known to bridge the gap by exploiting security holes related to the handling of removable media.

Could there be more to air gap security than just unplugging the wires? Read the quote again son. Got your nose stuck too deep in a book to apply it to the real world? I'm sure there's a wiki article somewhere for that.

And I've got #s behind my buzzwords, what have you accomplished AC?

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42125253)

LOL I TROLL U ;_;

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123013)

"3 am in the morning" ... as opposed to 3 PM in the morning? Or 3 am in the afternoon? Fucking idiot.

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | about a year ago | (#42125067)

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."

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (2)

paleo2002 (1079697) | about a year ago | (#42121537)

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' . . ."

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121881)

And by using CyberCity's new CyberCityMonitoring service, CyberMayor can turn the streetlights and traffic signals off and on from his tablet!

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121587)

My first thought. Here's an idea: if there's an attack, pull the (network) plug.

Re:Why is this shit connected to the internet? (1)

rioki (1328185) | about a year ago | (#42128501)

But how do you know that there is an attack? It always sounds so simple, DOS attacks are easily detected, but real attacks from skilled hackers should not be ?detectable from normal traffic, until it is too late. The security must be in place the moment it is powered on and some things just should not be connected to the internet. (A dedicated private net might be ok, in some cases...)

Fits in a six by eight foot area (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#42121415)

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?

Re:Fits in a six by eight foot area (1)

Stu_28 (83254) | about a year ago | (#42132577)

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...

Where?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121445)

"... located close by the New Jersey Turnpike..."

Do they have to enter via the inter-dimensional umbilicus on floor 7 1/2 that connects Ed Nort to John Malkovich, or do they just follow Don Adams down an elevator in a phonebooth? No, can't be a phonebooth... that would be far too conspicuous these days.

If you have an answer, please make sure to use the Slashdot cone of silence when answering. Like the one the big boys in Washington D.C. use when they want to keep something likes this a secret.

B-)

How well trained? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121467)

In NJ huh? Wonder how long it was without power after hurricane Sandy? Bet they could tell you how to cut it's power, and maybe protect it ... but bet they didn't have a clue about how to get it back. :-)

The true game after the training (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121513)

And after predefined mission scenarios training, split in two teem, one in defence and the other in offence... the real war begin. But verify that it's the cibercyty than's the targer, not acidently a real city...

Defense =offense? (1)

rockrr (1196773) | about a year ago | (#42121527)

"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.

Re:Defense =offense? (1)

rioki (1328185) | about a year ago | (#42128541)

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.

Warriors? Really? (2)

thoughtlover (83833) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Warriors? Really? (1)

Lashat (1041424) | about a year ago | (#42122059)

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?

Spin? Labels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42123637)

I think he was quite clear in that if you choose to participate in the fascist totalitarian dictatorship that the USA has become then you are a 'Cyber Warrior" That is you can go ahead and break into anything you want - so as long as you give it to the government, you can be A WARRIOR!!

Or you can go solo in your parents basement and do the same thing, learn much more, and get usually 100x better, and be so enlightened, so much more smarter than then government that you become a 'terrorist' to their plans.

This is not about what sounds cooler image wise. It's about greed and who must have what.

Re:Spin? Labels? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#42127983)

Or you can go solo in your parents basement and do the same thing, learn much more, and get usually 100x better, and be so enlightened, so much more smarter than then government that you become a 'terrorist' to their plans.

You become a terrorist when you act criminally against the democratically elected legitimate government in order to further your own vision of society. Whether you do this by blowing up a dam with your advanced explosives knowledge or vandalising the IRS website with your 1337 haxorz skillz is irrelevant.

Re:Warriors? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122557)

You do realize that everyone in the military are trained killers first and foremost. Yes they're warriors. Get back to be when you basement dwelling hackers are trained in small arms, hand to hand and explosives.

"We've built over eighteen missions..." (2)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about a year ago | (#42121623)

Glad to see ALL the bases are covered...

Re:"We've built over eighteen missions..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121895)

and for $999 per seat, or $2000 for non-members, that um... $111 per .. mission. Id rather get some real experience.

Raccoon City! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121655)

“Made a simulation of New York, sold it to the Russians.” “Made a simulation of Moscow, sold it to the Americans.” “Made a simulation of Tokyo, sold it to the Chinese.”

Real job (1)

G4Cube (863788) | about a year ago | (#42121781)

How many Homer Simpson's are assigned to this city? That is where the exploits find the hole. If is just a model city they will never learn anything.

Now all we need a Cyber CyberCyber, and we're set. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42121959)

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.

"small scale" is an understatement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42122009)

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 infrastructures are directly from the real world."

Tactics to thwart computer attacks? (2)

dgharmon (2564621) | about a year ago | (#42122117)

'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 !!!

Re:Tactics to thwart computer attacks? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about a year ago | (#42124179)

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.

Re:Tactics to thwart computer attacks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42131503)

'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 !!!

Everything is connected to the Internet, unless it's a hundred years old and stil using relays and gears.

Even things that aren't directly connected to the Internet still get connected to other machines that are, or read disks/flash sticks from machines that are.

seems like over kill for cyber wars (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42122221)

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.

The military guys still don't get it (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42122265)

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.

Re:The military guys still don't get it (1)

LennyDotCom (26658) | about a year ago | (#42123027)

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?

Re:The military guys still don't get it (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#42128863)

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.

"Kinetic effects" (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about a year ago | (#42122627)

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

Re:"Kinetic effects" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42128581)

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

That is the only activity where the US now excels.

Close to the New Jersey turnpike? (1)

Strykar (1161463) | about a year ago | (#42122801)

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

Re:Close to the New Jersey turnpike? (2)

Bryansix (761547) | about a year ago | (#42124191)

In "Being John Malkovich" you would shoot out onto the side of the New Jersey Turnpike once you got kicked out of his brain.

Nocturnal e-missions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42126759)

The be particularly good at nocturnal e-missions.
Is the wet head still dead?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...