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US deploys more cyber forces abroad to help fight hackers

Posted On: Apr. 25, 2023 12:34 PM CST


(Reuters) — The United States is sending more of its cyber forces abroad to help foreign governments fight hackers, a top U.S. military official said at the RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco.

In the last three years, the U.S. military’s Cyber National Mission Force has conducted 47 such “hunt forward” defensive operations across 20 countries at the invitation of those nations, U.S. Army Major General William Hartman said Monday.

“The demand for that only increases, and they are not all the same,” Mr. Hartman, CNMF's commander, said of the missions, speaking on the sidelines of the conference.

The initiative reflects a broader push by the U.S. government to improve collaboration with foreign allies on combating cybercrimes, which often cross borders. Some of the largest known ransomware criminal gangs, for instance, have targeted multiple countries, including the United States.

Mr. Hartman said CNMF had dispatched 43 specialists to Ukraine, which has been battling Russian cyber onslaughts amid the war there, which Russia calls a “special operation.”

“Those are defense teams we send, and (they) hunt for shared adversaries, find tools and capabilities,” Mr. Hartman said.