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Cyber Command Sends Specialists to South America on a “Hunt Forward” Intelligence Mission

U.S. cyber specialists were sent south to identify digital weaknesses on foreign networks and expose tools hackers employ, according to an official with Cyber Command.

The so-called hunt-forward mission, handled by experts on the Cyber National Mission Force, was conducted inside Southern Command’s area of responsibility, which comprises more than two-dozen countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Jamaica and Nicaragua.

“We had our first defend-forward mission, a hunt-forward mission, in SOUTHCOM just recently, which is amazing,” Brig. Gen. Reid Novotny said June 8 at the Potomac Officers Club’s Cyber Summit in McLean, Virginia. “The whole point of the defend-forward mission is to learn something on someone else’s network, a partner network, another nation’s network, so we can bring back that information and make sure our networks are more secure.”

Novotny did not say when or where, exactly, the hunt-forward took place.

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