US Cyber Command Wraps Up Defensive Hunt Operation in Lithuania
Interconnected Nature of Cyber Threats Highlighted
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md./ VILNIUS, LITHUANIA – The U.S. Cyber Command's Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) recently completed its second defensive hunt operation in Lithuania, aimed at strengthening international partnerships and enhancing cybersecurity efforts.
The operation has built upon the successful deployment to the country in May 2022.
At that time, it showcased the continued commitment to shared security and cooperation in the digital realm.
Over the course of several months, U.S. cyber operators collaborated closely with their counterparts from Lithuania's Information Technology and Communications Department, a division of the Ministry of the Interior.
Together, the teams analyzed crucial networks, identified by the partner country, for evidence of malicious cyber activity while pinpointing vulnerabilities.
The Vice-minister of the Interior, Mr. Arnoldas Abramavičius, emphasized the significance of developing competences and resilience to cyberattacks by stating:
"The war in Ukraine has shown that cyberattacks are a powerful tool of modern warfare, so it is extremely important to be prepared and to ensure the security of our networks. I believe that the results of this mission will be mutually beneficial and contribute to creating a common area of security and democracy in our region."
The defend forward operations conducted by CNMF enable nations to gain a deeper understanding of shared threats and fortify critical networks that are vital to the U.S., its allies, and its partners.
Intelligence gleaned from these operations is shared with the partner country and brought back to the U.S. to improve the resilience of both public and private-sector network defenders.
Maj. Gen. Joe Hartman, the CNMF commander, stressed the interconnected nature of cyber threats, stating:
"Cyber threats rarely occur in a vacuum. Ultimately, what impacts one nation or network can impact us all, and that is why we are fortunate to have opportunities such as these to work side by side with trusted partners in Lithuania."
Defend forward operations form an integral part of CYBERCOM's persistent engagement strategy, which aims to defend against and disrupt malicious cyber activities while bolstering the homeland defense of the U.S. and its partner nations.
The collaboration between Lithuania and the U.S. in the field of cyber defense is robust and ongoing. Lithuania established the Regional Cyber Defense Center in 2021 as a platform for practical cooperation between Lithuania and the U.S., with Ukraine, Georgia, and Poland also joining the initiative.
CNMF has been deployed 50 times and conducted hunt operations on over 75 networks in more than 23 countries. This second deployment to Lithuania adds to a growing list of collaborations that include Ukraine, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and many others since 2018.