(Reuters) – The United States is sending more of its cyber forces overseas to help foreign governments fight hackers, a U.S. military official said at the RSA Cyber Security Conference in San Francisco.
Over the past three years, the U.S. military’s Cyber National Mission Force has conducted 47 such “chase forward” defensive operations in 20 countries at the invitation of those nations, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Hartman said Monday.
“The demand for it is only increasing, and they’re not all the same,” Hartman, the CNMF commander, said of the missions, speaking on the sidelines of the conference.
The initiative reflects a broader effort by the US government to improve cooperation with foreign allies to combat cybercrime, which often crosses borders. For example, some of the largest known ransomware criminal gangs have targeted several countries, including the United States.
Mr Hartman said the CNMF had sent 43 specialists to Ukraine, who have been fighting Russian cyber attacks amid the war there, which Russia calls a “special operation”;.
“It’s defense teams we send, and (they) hunt split opponents, find tools and capabilities,” Hartman said.