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Cyber Command “Hunt Forward” Operations

US Cyber Command’s hunt-forward operations have been successful in blending offensive and defensive cyber operations, revealing that the command has conducted more than a couple dozen of the operations in 14 countries over the last few years.

Since 2018 CYBERCOM has conducted well over 24 hunt-forward operations in 14 countries, during which it has discovered approximately 30 new pieces of malware, which the command has shared with US partners.

CYBERCOM has characterized hunt forward as deploying CYBERCOM teams to allied nations to help proactively identify adversary operations and cyber vulnerabilities on their networks. That information is then shared with partners and used to bolster US defenses. Hunt forward can also entail elements of offensive and information operations.

Hunt forward is one of two “constructs” of persistent engagement. Persistent engagement is the CYBERCOM doctrine that total cyber deterrence is futile, and the best defense is, in part, a good offense.

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The UMBRA Analytics Platform system fuses all field intelligence meta-data and cyber intelligence content, as well as other data sources, to highlight and identify suspicious activity, important events and analyze suspects’ relationships and communications. The system can provide in-depth operational understanding in near-real-time to the field operations teams.

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From the Shadow Emerges Knowledge