Brazil Promotes Cyberthreat Information Sharing

Brazil Promotes Cyberthreat Information Sharing

By Andréa Barreto / Diálogo
June 25, 2019

NATO uses software that the Brazilian Cyber Defense Command selected and will be implemented jointly in 10 partner nations.

A strategic tool for cyber protection is currently undergoing the testing phase. The Malware Information Sharing Platform (MISP) is an online tool used to share information on virtual threats. Member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization already use the software that will be implemented in Brazil and nine other countries under the Ibero-American Cyber Defense Forum.

“This is a very important tool that allows for information exchange, for instance, about a specific cyber device, a virus, identified in a certain network,” said Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) Lieutenant Colonel Walbery Nogueira de Lima e Silva, a Cyber Defense Command (ComDCiber) General Staff officer. “We can share its characteristics, its use, and how to update software to prevent a virus from activating and working, etc.”

ComDCiber is a joint command, part of the EB structure, operating as a central agency of the military cyber defense system. The institution was responsible for coordinating the III Ibero-American Cyber Defense Forum, in Brasília, April 15-17, 2019. About 30 representatives from the cyber sector of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, and Brazil participated.

An agreement on the use of MISP was among the outcomes of the meeting. The agreement was recorded in the letter of intent members of the forum signed at the conclusion of the event. “We are in the planning phase, defining conditions for the tool’s use in each country. We will then move into the implementation phase, followed by the information sharing phase,” said Lt. Col. Walbery, adding that the go-live date for MISP has yet to be determined.

Doctrine, training, and education

The Ibero-American Cyber Defense Forum was established in 2016 to share experiences between the armed forces of partner nations and to strengthen combat initiatives in the cyberthreat field. The first forum was held in Spain in 2016, and the second edition took place in Argentina, in 2018.

Chile will be the host country for the April 2020 event. Meanwhile, EB Lieutenant General Guido Amin Naves, head of ComDCiber, serves as the forum pro tempore secretary. As such, Brazil oversees the agenda participants of the forum created. The schedule includes recurrent video conferences to execute agreements made during this year’s meeting.

At the three-day event, service members discussed doctrine matters to facilitate the development of joint cyber operations. They also addressed training, with a special focus on two exercises: the Ibero-American Cyber Defense Forum Exercise II and Cyber Guardian 2.0.

The first exercise is directly related to the forum, with the participation of all 10 countries, but the date has yet to be determined. The second is a training coordinated by ComDCiber. The event will take place in July, in Brasília, and was conducted for the first time in 2018. Members of the forum were invited to participate as visitors.

The Cyber Guardian exercise brings service members and civilians together to encourage the development of collaborative solutions to promote cyber protection. “Cybernetics has the characteristic of viewing society as a whole, regardless of physical borders. In this sense, ComDCiber considers the increase of collaborative action, which involves gathering the government, defense, private sector, and academic community in a national effort for cyber protection, as being highly important,” Lt. Col. Walbery said.

Education was also a topic at the forum. Participants shared ideas on exchange, internship, and course attendance among member countries.

The National Cyber Defense School in Brazil, for instance, offers periodic courses. The institution, founded in February 2019, is temporarily located at ComDCiber and will eventually have its own headquarters.

The school started operations before its official inauguration, and has already trained 1,200 people through various courses. “Our goal is to train people to operate complex systems,” said EB Colonel Edson Ribeiro dos Santos Junior, a ComDCiber General Staff officer.