Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps Debuts in WMCSC Cyber Incident Response Exercise

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit Network, Inc. announced today that members of the West Michigan Cyber Security Consortium (WMCSC) and the newly formed Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3) will participate in a cybersecurity incident response exercise using Alphaville and the Michigan Cyber Range. 

The day-long exercise, to take place July 23 on the campus of Davenport University in Grand Rapids, a Merit Member, is a follow-up to a successful WMCSC Cyber Security Exercise last summer that featured the Michigan Cyber Range’s Alphaville.

New for this year is the introduction of the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3).

“The Michigan Cyber Range is excited to work with WMCSC again,” said Dr. W. Joe Adams, vice president, research and cyber security for Merit Network. “Partnering with organizations like the WMCSC is exactly what we were created to do and we look forward to another challenging exercise.”

“The Michigan Cyber Range exercise is the highlight of our Quarterly meetings” said Barbara Hiemstra, information security director, Kent County. “It is the only opportunity our consortium has to work as a team and hone cyber skills. Adding the Michigan Cyber Civilian  Corps this year steps up the game for us.”

Officially launched in May at the 2014 MCRCon Cyber Security Conference, MiC3 is made up of a group of cyber security professionals who volunteer to provide their expertise and assistance to protect critical infrastructure and make Michigan a safer place.  Similar to the idea of the National Guard or a volunteer fire department, in times of need the MiC3 are first responders to cyber-attacks.  The Governor will activate MiC3 cells during a state of emergency.

The event announced today will be the first opportunity for new MiC3 members to test their mettle.  WMCSC members will act as a Red Team of ethical hackers against a Blue Team of incident response handlers made up of MiC3 members, who will attempt to defend Alphaville’s critical information systems from a cyber attack.

Alphaville, developed by Merit Network, is a collection of virtual machines simulating information systems that are networked together and assigned varying security levels modeled on how real towns across the country are actually configured.  It exists as part of the Michigan Cyber Range, a secure test bed designed to enable cybersecurity attacks and defense methods in a realistic environment without impacting production network traffic.

During the exercise, the MiC3 Blue Team will defend Alphaville Public Library, Public School, Police Station and even Alphaville Power & Electric Company-a unique model of a SCADA network, from power substation to individual household power meters, that provides a one of a kind opportunity to learn SCADA vulnerabilities and security techniques.

Each site in Alphaville has a different level of security, though all are interconnected.  So information gleaned from the library can be used to gain access to the public school and so on.  MiC3 Blue Team members will be challenged to secure and defend email servers, web servers, and file systems from waves of cyber attacks created by the WMCSC Red Team.

The cyber security event on July 23 is open to the public; space is limited. The event will take place at the W. A. Lettinga Main Campus of Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Ave SE in Grand Rapids.  Interested attendees must RSVP to wmcybersecurity@kentcountymi.gov by July 19th.  There is no charge to attend.


About West Michigan Cyber Security Consortium

The West Michigan Cyber Security Consortium (WMCSC) is a multi-jurisdictional, public/private partnership whose purpose is to enhance the prevention, protection, response and recovery to cyber security threats, disruptions and degradation to critical information technology functions. Its membership includes individuals from government, health care, law enforcement and private businesses. The group meets quarterly to share information around cyber security issues.

About Michigan Cyber Range

The Michigan Cyber Range prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and mitigate cyberattacks in a real-world setting. Like a test track or a firing range, the Michigan Cyber Range enables individuals and organizations to conduct “live fire” exercises: simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available on-site and live online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site: www.merit.edu/cyberrange/

The Michigan Cyber Range is hosted and facilitated by Merit Network in partnership with the State of Michigan and with the sponsorship of Consumers Energy and DTE Energy.

About Merit Network

Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions and professional development to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

For more information: www.merit.edu/