US Cyber Command Shares Malware Samples with Cybersecurity Community

US Cyber CommandUS Cyber Command has begun sharing unclassified malware samples with the cybersecurity community through the website VirusTotal.

“Recognizing the value of collaboration with the public sector, the CNMF has initiated an effort to share unclassified malware samples it has discovered that it believes will have the greatest impact on improving global cybersecurity,” said an announcement from the US Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF), which is overseeing the program.

The cybersecurity industry can also receive unclassified malware samples through the CNMF’s Twitter feed, @CNMF_VirusAlert.

In 2012, the Joint Staff and US Cyber Command directed the services to collectively build a cyber mission force. That force consists of 133 cyber mission teams, four Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber, and the CNMF.

The CNMF plans, directs, and synchronizes cyberspace operations to deter, disrupt, and defeat adversary cyber actors.

The 133 cyber mission teams became operational in May of this year. The teams execute the command’s mission to direct, synchronize and coordinate cyberspace operations in defense of US interests.

“As the build of the cyber mission force wraps up, we’re quickly shifting gears from force generation to sustainable readiness,” US Cyber Commander Gen. Paul Nakasone said. “We must ensure we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available to generate cyberspace outcomes when needed.”

The cyber mission force teams have been building capability and capacity since 2013. The force structure was developed then, and the services began to field and train more than 6,200 military personnel from all services as well as civilians.

Roles of Cyber Mission Force Teams

Cyber mission force teams support US Cyber Command in the following areas:

  • Identify adversary activity, block attacks, and maneuver to defeat them
  • Conduct military cyberspace operations in support of commander priorities and missions
  • Defend the DoD’s information network, protect priority missions, and prepare cyber forces for combat
  • Provide analytic and planning support

“It’s one thing to build an organization from the ground up, but these teams were being tasked operationally while they were growing capability,” Nakasone said. “I am certain that these teams will continue to meet the challenges of this rapidly evolving and dynamic domain.”

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