Michigan National Guard cyber team to showcase skills during international summit

Governor Rick Snyder discusses the Michigan Cyber Corps at the fifth annual North American International Cyber Summit in Detroit, Mich., Oct. 17, 2016. (Michigan National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st […]

Governor Rick Snyder discusses the Michigan Cyber Corps at the fifth annual North American International Cyber Summit in Detroit, Mich., Oct. 17, 2016. (Michigan National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller/Released)

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LANSING, Mich. — U.S. National Guard teams will join with partner nations from across Europe, Oct. 30, to test their offensive and defensive cybersecurity skills during a virtual exercise that is part of The International Cyber Summit 2017 at the Cobo Convention Center in Detroit.

Originally created by the Michigan Cyber Range, the international exercise scenario takes place in a complex virtual training environment on the Merit Network (Michigan Educational Research Information Traid), called Alphaville. Alphaville includes five separate locations, a library, school, private business, police station, and a utility company, that each present different security challenges. Exercise participants will use open source security tools and their own cybersecurity skills, to attempt to control as many of Alphaville’s network assets as possible. Some teams will travel to Detroit for the exercise offering Summit attendees a live-action glimpse of realistic cyber operations while other teams will participate remotely.

In total, this year’s competition will include teams from more than 10 states and 10 countries.

“This exercise marks another milestone for Michigan’s public-private partnership as it expands its role in leading change in cybersecurity cooperative training. Involving such a wide range of states and countries will not only highlight the depth of capabilities within the National Guard but also the ability to bring partners together over the network for collaborative training,” said Dr. Joe Adams, Vice President of Research and Cybersecurity at Merit Network.

The international cyber exercise requires a high degree of group skill, as each team will have to protect the devices they control, while attempting to hack other teams. The winning team will control the most devices at the end of the day. The overall goal of the competition is to practice and facilitate statewide and international cybersecurity defense collaboration.

“The Michigan National Guard is proud of its role in supporting the Summit annually. We’ve taken the Michigan Cyber Range to the next level this year by significantly expanding the number of State Partnership for Peace countries and States participating in the exercise. This will be the fifth year working with Latvia and the Michigan Cyber Range. This event is strategic, not only for Michigan, but for our entire nation,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard, director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and co-coordinator of the North American Cyber Summit.

The State of Michigan has long been considered a national leader on cybersecurity, guiding discussions on emerging trends and best practices in cyber policy, law and all manner of public and private interests on the subject.

For more information on the Michigan National Guard cyber team please contact the MING public affairs office, 517-481-8141, ng.mi.miarng.list.pao@mail.mil, or visit minationalguard.com.

About The North American International Cyber Summit

The North American International Cyber Summit 2017 hosted by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, will once again take place in the heart of Downtown Detroit at Cobo Center. The event, in its sixth year, will bring together experts from across the globe to address a variety of cybersecurity issues impacting the world. The Summit is scheduled for Monday, October 30, 2017.
About the Michigan Cyber Range

The Michigan Cyber Range, hosted and facilitated by Merit Network in partnership with the State of Michigan, prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and mitigate cyber-attacks in a real-world setting. Like a test track or a firing range, the Michigan Cyber Range enables individuals and organizations to conduct “live fire” exercises: simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available on-site and live online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site: www.merit.edu/cyberrange/.
About Merit Network

Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.
For more information about Merit Network please contact Colleen Robar, 313-207-5960, crobar@robarpr.com or visit www.merit.edu.

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