The U.S. military has conducted several missions in 2021 to counter cyber threats through so-called “pursuit” operations, where cybersecurity experts are deployed to help allies track and detect malicious activity in cyberspace.

Gen. Paul Nakasone says his office has had a team in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv since 2018 and that the California National Guard has been there long before. He said the defense ministry should establish such partnerships and conduct nine operations around the world last year.

“In 2021, we conducted nine pursuit operations using US cyber team teams going to a number of different countries,” he said. “These are countries that have asked for our help by deploying our security teams so that they can identify malware and commercial operations that our opponents use, and then share this widely with a commercial vendor.

Nakasone spoke Wednesday at the Vanderbilt University summit, which hosted current conflicts and emerging threats.

The intelligence community was recognized by Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and other lawmakers during recent annual hearings on global threats to signal Putin’s potential invasion of a neighbor. The NSA also contributed to a joint consultation by the Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency on the nature of the malware used to attack Ukraine. Nakasone’s offices have also received recognition for other campaigns, such as what the general described as “flooding” Iran’s attempts to influence the outcome of the 2020 elections.

To meet the needs of his agencies as the nature of the conflict changes, Nakasone stressed the importance of strategic partnerships and noted the long-standing relationship between Kyiv and the California National Guard. He said that when his team landed in the country in 2018, they were greeted by a leader of the guard, which has been there since 1993.

Nakasone said his team told him about the California Guard group: “They knew every single person in government and every help you needed with your hunting forwards team, they said they would offer.

“These are the partnerships, ladies and gentlemen,” Nakasone said, “which we must be able to use today in the Ministry of Defense.”

He also stressed the importance of being able to use data in today’s conflicts, which require speed and agility. “Big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning will push the boundaries of time and understanding for all of us,” he said.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday on the use of artificial intelligence in cyber operations, Joe Manchin, DW.V., chairman of the committee’s cybersecurity committee, joked about his lack of knowledge of the subject. He also used his introductory statement to include technology from Microsoft as a potential solution.

“Commercial cybersecurity companies have been developing and applying AI technology to their products for several years,” Manchin said. “And the Ministry of Defense is taking advantage of this investment. Microsoft’s Defender is a good example. But DOD’s direct investment in cyber AI is lagging behind. I look forward to hearing recommendations from our witnesses on what we can invest in and where we need to focus our intentions. ”

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