The Swedish Armed Forces are stepping up their ability to defend against online attacks, with a so-called ‘cyber range’ or a training facility for cyber warfare expected to be ready within one year.
The Army’s head of cyber defence, Patrik Ahlgren, described the plans to SVT Nyheter as “a digital battlefield, a bit like practising on a firing range with ammunition”.
The training facility will be a data centre where it’s possible to imitate IT systems to defend against or attack.
“It’s an obvious component of modern warfare. Anyone who doesn’t have this capacity has a clear disadvantage in any war,” Ahlgren told SVT.
He said he could not comment on the methods or scenarios the army would be working with, or on the location of the data centre.
In its annual report for 2018, the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) said that national cyber attacks against important Swedish IT systems, including those believed to be carried out by foreign states, were increasing and becoming more sophisticated. The report said there were concrete examples in which foreign powers had likely successfully stolen information.
“We can’t go into specific examples but we have several ways of seeing this, including through our warning system TDV which we have installed for important government functions,” FRA spokesperson Fredrik Wallin has previously told the TT newswire.
And earlier this year the army committed to training so-called ‘cyber soldiers’ for the first time, including offering training to around 30 military conscripts to be able to defend the country from possible cyber attacks.