I am excited for the opening of the free Cyber Warfare Range. I had the pleasure of meeting the team at Arizona Cyber Warfare Range (ACWR) and getting an exclusive tour of their virtual warfare range. During this guide of their internal architecture, I was able to get some insights into controls which protect their cyber warfare environment. It is vital the activities which occur inside the range do not get loose and directly impact the real world.
So what is a virtual warfare range?
A virtual warfare range is an open-source, virtual location where security professionals can test their skills and programs in a simulated environment. You can conduct dangerous activities in a safe, isolated, and controlled space. You can think of it like a cybersecurity gun range or paintball arena. For example, users are encouraged to hack the servers, compromise networks, break software, test the robustness of products, and even play with toxic malware (in specialized ranges). Customized environments can be created to attack or defend. All of which are important learning experiences for security professionals.
It’s no secret that security professionals need practical, real-world experience. However, it is never recommended to do dangerous activities on production, personal, or work networks as it is a recipe for harmful unintended consequences. As a vitally important resource, the warfare range provides a free, internet accessible, and safe place where novices and experts alike can learn and test their skills while conducting more specific activities – such as testing products, evaluating malware, etc...
The ACWR is simply a safe environment for learning by doing. Hacking, testing, war games, malware practice, product evaluations, and real opponent challenges help security professionals hone their skills in an isolated setting. Beginner and advanced ranges provide teaching challenges, customizable environments, analysis, and metrics. The site encourages users to go wild, ‘burn systems to the ground’, and do whatever it takes to learn and improve.
No more excuses, time to get learning.
- Matthew Rosenquist
To find out more visit the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range Website: http://www.azcwr.com/
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