Threat Management

Importance of US hunt forward operations emphasized

Hunt forward operations deployed in Estonia and Ukraine were noted by U.S. Cyber National Mission Force Commander Maj. Gen. William Hartman to have enabled the U.S. to obtain intelligence regarding nation-state adversaries' tactics, which are then shared with public and private sector partners to better defend U.S. infrastructure, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. "Just from an authority standpoint, we have this unique hunt forward authority [that] allows us to deploy these teams to execute defensive hunt operations. We execute these fairly frequently, and we do think it puts us in a really good position to build resiliency and support our partners and allies around the world," said Hartman in an interview. Moreover, extensive operations over the past two years which involved the deployment of 39 cyber teams and 2,000 personnel organized into six task forces focused on Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran have also enabled the CNMF to develop a formula for such missions. "We've improved the experience level. Before, if we did a 60-day hunt forward operation, we might get really smart at about day 50. Now, generally within the first couple weeks of an operation, I think we're having meaningful conversations and meaningful mission outcomes for the teams," Hartman added.

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