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US government wants cyber forces that think like the enemy

The military aims to run practice scenarios throughout the year.

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Lawmakers want mandatory training for US military cybersecurity to act as the enemy in war games tailored to test the country's cyber defenses. The suggestion was included in a recent defense bill. To ensure attacks aren't confused with real (well, cyber) ones, agreements would be made with the Defense Secretary Ash Carter. One official described the training like the enemy squadrons used by the US Air Force during Red Flag -- a flight exercise for fighter pilots.

The Armed Services Committee voted last week to create a training program for cyber opposition forces by the end of March 2016, while deploying cyber red teams against the US' cyber defenses will need to be agreed upon by September next year. The military would run practice scenarios through out the year. "The committee recognizes that special arrangements will be needed to deconflict training from real-world activities that may happen on mission networks," the lawmakers said.

US forces have already experienced periodic "red team" cyberattacks over time with positive results, according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's operational test and evaluation director.

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