US Cyber Command team helps Lithuania protect its networks

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. vulnerability / ˌvʌl nər əˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n.) – a flaw or weakness in a system or network that attackers could use to cause damage on or control the system

    They hired the best IT professionals to find vulnerabilities in their system.

  2. root out (something/someone) / rut aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to find and remove someone or something that’s causing a problem

    The mayor is determined to root out corruption in the city.

  3. malware / ˈmælˌwɛər / (n.) – software designed to damage or take control of a computer or device without the user knowing

    Don’t just open suspicious files. They may contain malware.

  4. adversary / ˈæd vərˌsɛr i / (n.) – an enemy

    The two politicians had been adversaries for a long time.

  5. predate / ˈpriˈdeɪt / (v.) – to exist or happen before something

    The people’s dissatisfaction with the president’s leadership predated the protests.


Read the text below.

The Pentagon’s cyber arm says a team spent months working with officials in Lithuania to help protect government networks there from cyberattacks.

The U.S. Cyber Command mission, known as a hunt forward operation, involved a specialized team that worked side-by-side with Lithuanian officials to identify vulnerabilities and root out any malicious cyber activity on the networks of the country’s foreign affairs ministry and defense systems. It ended this month.

The three-month operation coincided with Russia’s war against Ukraine and was part of an ongoing effort by the Cyber Command to work with foreign governments that want help protecting their networks.

In the last several years, the Cyber National Mission Force has conducted 28 hunt forward operations in 16 countries, including Estonia, Ukraine, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

“These were countries that had asked for our assistance, deploying our defensive teams forward, being able to identify malware and tradecraft our adversaries were using, and then sharing that broadly with a commercial provider,” Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of the Cyber Command, said Wednesday in describing the operations.

The start of the Lithuania operation predated the Russia-Ukraine war, which was launched by Russia on Feb. 24 and has involved persistent hacking by Russian forces though caused ultimately less damage than many observers had anticipated.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What do you think is the purpose of the U.S. for helping countries protect their networks (ex. form new alliances)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think it’s the responsibility of the U.S. and countries with advanced technology to help other countries improve their own? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Russian forces did persistent hacking when it waged war against Ukraine. Do you think cyberattacks will continue to play a major role in international conflicts? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • According to the International Humanitarian Law, biological weapons, chemical weapons, and lasers are prohibited means of warfare. Do you think that cyberattacks should be prohibited as well? Why or why not? Discuss.