Cyber experts from organisations including the FBI, NCA and Europol recently came together in the UK for a simulation to test how they would operate in the event of a critical cyber attack.
The exercise, coined Silver Shadow, was managed by the National Crime Agency's cyber division and involved operatives from eight different countries including the US, Georgia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.
The week-long exercise started on 30 November and was held at the Cabinet Office's Emergency Planning College in North Yorkshire, which is run by management firm Serco. The event platform was a Serco service called cybX that is used to test the cyber capabilities of organisations.
According to the NCA, the aim of the simulation was to test how investigators worked together in the event of a ‘complex criminal incident' and to build relationships between teams.
The simulation was funded by the UK Foreign Office, but the NCA refused to say how much it cost to run.
Jamie Saunders, director of the NCA's cyber unit, said: "Cyber crime is by its very nature international, with many of the criminals and the technical infrastructure they rely upon based overseas, and yet its impact is felt by real people and real businesses in communities across the UK.
"The advantage of an immersive exercise such as Silver Shadow is that it's made very realistic. People get very enthusiastic and very passionate about the game but it is made to feel very real. You are stressing people in exactly the way they would be stressed in a real-life scenario.
"There are a number of lessons we did learn in terms of the processes we use ourselves for international cooperation. We will be gathering those lessons together and reviewing different ways in which we can work together in the future."
Richard Preece, Serco's director of cybX, said: "It's one thing to invest in the best technology, but organisations must also invest in developing their people and test their capabilities."
Exercise Silver Shadow follows a pilot event, Exercise Silver Pilot, which was held in October to test how UK cyber units can better work together. The pilot operation involved the NCA working alongside police services in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The NCA recently launched a programme called CyberChoices to help educate parents about the dangers of cyber crime.
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