Argentina Enhances Response Against Cyberattacks

Argentina Enhances Response Against Cyberattacks

By Juan Delgado/Diálogo
November 10, 2021

The Argentine Armed Forces strengthened their knowledge in denial of service, antivirus neutralization, and confidential data propagation, during the Cyber Dawg 2021 exercise that took place in the United States in late September.

Some 20 U.S. state organizations, members of the Georgia National Guard, and Argentine service members — united under the U.S. Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program — took part in the exercise that tested capabilities to prevent attacks in cyberspace.

“Participating in the Cyber Dawg 2021 exercise allowed us to see the different roles involved in a simulated environment with highly trained information technology and cyber defense personnel,” Argentine Army Brigadier General Aníbal Intini, commander of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Cyber Defense Command (CCCD, in Spanish), told Diálogo.

During the exercise, participants were organized into three teams: one simulating a fictitious organization defending itself against cyber threats and responding to attacks; another representing adversaries, who sought to exploit vulnerabilities; and the third in charge of monitoring the activities of the first two groups and ensuring the smooth running of the exercise.

Cyber threats

In the past 20 years, the world has seen new forms of threats from non-state organizations, including cyberattacks that destabilize democratic governments. The effects can impact, for example, air traffic, energy and drinking water supply, and the control of critical national infrastructures. As such, Argentine service members at the CCCD seek to detect threats and manage cyberattack risks to key IT infrastructures for military missions and systems of essential services for national security.

“The exponential evolution of technology is forcing cyberdefense organizations to be constantly updating the necessary knowledge and resources to fulfill their mission,” Brig. Gen. Intini said.

The CCCD, the officer added, also benefits from the support of U.S. Southern Command, an institution that “opens their doors to face-to-face and online training, allowing our personnel to train and learn different skills and procedures that are needed.”

The first Cyber Dawg exercise was carried out in 2019, where Georgia National Guard units replicated forms of the SAMSAM ransomware (file hijacking for ransom) that terrorized global organizations in 2018.