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NEWS | Sept. 12, 2023

“Building Resilience”: U.S. returns from second defensive Hunt Operation in Lithuania

By Cyber National Mission Force Public Affairs

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md./ VILNIUS, LITHUANIA – U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force recently concluded their second defensive hunt operation to Lithuania, building upon relationships and experiences from their previous deployment to the country in May 2022.

U.S. cyber operators spent months alongside their counterparts from Lithuania’s Information Technology and Communications Department, part of the country’s Ministry of the Interior. The teams analyzed key networks, identified and prioritized by the partner, for evidence of malicious cyber activity while identifying vulnerabilities.

"We need to develop competences and be more resilient to cyberattacks. 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,” said Mr. Arnoldas Abramavičius, Vice-minister of the Interior. “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.”

Intelligence-driven and partner-focused, defend forward operations allow countries to better understand shared threats and enhance the security of critical networks that the U.S. and its allies and partners depend on.

Insights gained during these operations are shared with the partner and brought back to the U.S. to share with public and private-sector network defenders.

“Cyber threats rarely occur in a vacuum,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joe Hartman, the CNMF commander. “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 are key to CYBERCOM’s persistent engagement strategy, aimed at defending and disrupting malicious cyber activities and bolstering the homeland defense of the U.S. and our partner nations.

Lithuania and the U.S. actively cooperate in the field of cyber defense. In 2021, Lithuania established the Regional Cyber Defense Center, which serves as a platform for practical cooperation between Lithuania and the U.S., with Ukraine, Georgia and Poland also joining the initiative.

CNMF has deployed 50 times and conducted hunt operations on over 75 networks in more than 23 countries. This is CNMF’s second deployment to Lithuania. Teams have also deployed to Ukraine, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and other nations since 2018.