Operation Tsunami 2019

Operation Tsunami 2019 is an interactive training activity where teams from the same nation state actor will attack critical infrastructure and related networks through a cyber range.

The Australian government hopes to revamp the country’s cybersecurity plans and is looking to make itself a strong entity against cyber threats, at a time when countries across the globe are fighting to strengthen their cyber security standards with its annual Operation Tsunami cyber war games.

According to multiple sources, the government is now accepting submissions to its review of the national cyber security strategy. It is also holding an interactive training activity that would deal with cybersecurity and how to eliminate cyber threats.

The interactive training activity creatively titled “Operation Tsunami 2019” will feature teams which will try to attack critical infrastructure and related networks through a cyber range.

The cybersecurity related interactive training activity will feature a cyber range which is a standalone IT system supporting ‘Shell Cove’­—a replication of a town made of Lego. Shell Cove’s infrastructure is connected to the cyber range so many of the attackers and defenders actions can be seen in real time.

A coalition of hacking groups, including some federal public servants, will help create cyber threats that will disrupt and destruct the fictional city’s critical infrastructure. According to experts, sophisticated cyber warfare tactics will be used to de-rail all operations of infrastructure. The event has been received well by cyber and ethical hacking experts who view it as a step in the right direction.

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The first war games were held in 2017, when four big federal departments competed to attack or defend the city and its plastic inhabitants. Since then the event has evolved somewhat and so has the model — its first iteration was repurposed from similar games run for high school students as a way to promote information security careers, experts said.

The evolution of the games has been organic and now the games are world-class and cutting edge according to the organizers. Similar games have been conducted by NATO, EU AND the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Participants would get real-time, valuable experience in identifying and responding to national security level threats. However, the qualities demonstrated by participants are not only technical.

“You’ll have to demonstrate enhanced planning, coordination, communication, anticipation. You’ll need to be adaptive and crucially, deeper relations across the cybersecurity community will have to be built because a tighter cohort of cybersecurity professionals is a sure defence against those who would seek to do us harm.” Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert said.

According to the event website – The games will allow participants to get into the minds of common adversaries to better understand their tools and techniques. It will help with re-establishing key cyber security fundamentals and test collaboration and networking across government and industry while also exploring and raising awareness of cyber threats and triggers. The games will also encourage creative problem solving and critical thinking apart from helping the government identify different ways a hacker can find vulnerabilities.

“It is important for government to consult with the public on matters of cyber security,” Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said.

“Strong collaboration and partnerships are vital to ensure this strategy is well positioned to tackle the cyber security challenges we face as a nation,” Dutton added.

Australia also remains concerned about offensive cyber warfare capabilities build up in Indo-Pacific, according to sources.

Australia’s cyber ambassador Dr Tobias Feakin said the application of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to the large datasets presently available would revolutionize the World Order. “They will change the way we look at critical issues such as labor and employment,” he told media organisations.

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