Cyber Defence Exercises /

Locked Shields 2013


24-25 Apr 2013



All over Europe

Number of participants:


Locked Shields is a real-time network defence exercise which in 2013 involved close to 250 participants from 11 nations. Running over two days the 10 defending teams from all over Europe were put against one attacking team for a unique training and cooperation opportunity.

Ten Blue Teams, consisting of up to 10 experts in IT and 1-2 legal advisors, were the main training audience. They were acting as rapid reaction teams who had to defend virtual networks against the Red Team's attacks, accomplish orders given by headquarters, follow the local news and respond to media inquiries, and analyse the legal aspects of their mission. The main objective of the exercise was to test the skills of the Blue Team members, educate the legal experts on IT and pressure the lawyers with complex legal tasks.

The scenario engaged the Blue Teams in a mission under UN mandate in a fictional country called Boolea where the conflict between the northern and southern tribes had escalated to a level where the local government was forced to request help from the international community. In addition to traditional hostilities, cyber attacks began in April 2013 against the IT systems of local aid organisations. Ten Blue Teams were requested to be deployed in order to protect unclassified military networks and aid organisations' networks.

The Blue Teams were from Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Slovakia and NATO. NCIRC (NATO team) became the overall winner of Locked Shields 2014.

The exercise was organised by NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Finnish Defence Forces, Estonian Defence Forces, Estonian Cyber Defence League and Estonian Information System's Authority. Great technical support was received from Cisco, Clarified Networks, Clarified Security and Bytelife.

After action report is available here.