By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo October 04, 2017 Brazil is the South American nation that has suffered the most cyberattacks in recent years. According to information from the Guide to Cyber Defense in South America, a book published on August 23rd by the Ministry of Defense, cybercrimes affect more than 20 million Brazilians a year and cost the Brazilian government a net total of $8 billion. The publication brings together public data from 12 South American nations, as well as French Guiana, on initiatives in the areas of cyberdefense and security. This work, never published before in the region, was done by a group of scholars with incentives from Brazil’s National Council on Scientific and Technological Development and the Brazilian Institute of Defense Studies, an organization in charge of collecting data, conducting research, and producing analyses that are used by the Brazilian Ministry of Defense in its decision-making process. “At universities, there has been increasing interest in this issue,” stated Marcos Aurelio Guedes de Oliveira, a professor in the Political Science graduate program at Pernambuco Federal University and one of the authors of the guide. According to Guedes, most of the attention directed at the issue is due to the increasing number of cyberattacks and other crimes, not only in the defense sector, but also in the civil sector. “Imagine that your email data is stolen. That’s already a problem for the individual. Now consider the proportions that are gained when it’s about data at a national level,” he alerted. Cooperation and reinforcement The guide makes a distinction between cybersecurity and cyberdefense. The former “concerns issues relating to public safety.” While the latter refers to “the act of protecting a nation’s critical information technology and communication systems. In addition, it includes cyber issues and matters that may affect a nation’s survival.” In South America, each nation deals with cyberdefense and security in its own way. In Brazil, as distinguished from Colombia for example, there is a security structure that is separate from defense. And while issues relating to cybersecurity are the responsibility of the President’s Institutional Security Cabinet, those concerned with cyberdefense fall within the military sphere, especially the Brazilian Army, through its Cyber Defense Command (ComDCiber, per its Portuguese acronym). Service members from all three branches of the armed forces lead ComDCiber’s activities, whose mission is planning, orienting, coordinating, and controlling operational, doctrinal, development, and training activities within the scope of the Military Cyber Defense System. ComDCiber’s structure includes a Cyber Defense Center (CDCiber, per its Portuguese acronym), a unit established in 2011 as one of the ways of meeting the guidance issued by the National Defense Strategy, which defines the cyber sector as being strategic for the nation, alongside the nuclear and space sectors. “Brazil is the South American country that has invested the most in cyberdefense,” asserted professor Guedes, who believes that the nations of the region need to join together. “Cooperation is necessary, and we need to regulate the sector. That will lead to a greater strengthening of these institutions in the face of problems related to the cyber sector. As far as that goes, Brazil can play quite an important role, because it has more experience,” he added. Capturing the flag Among the activities that ComDCiber carries out are competitions to train service members. On June 29th, one of these twice yearly events took place. “It’s a chance for them to get trained on putting the knowledge they’ve acquired into practice. The big difficulty in the cyber arena is putting what you’ve learned into practice. So when we have a competition like this, it’s an excellent opportunity to test out what we’ve learned,” explained Brazilian Army Lieutenant Colonel Marcelo Antônio Righi, of ComDCiber. Mandabyte, the Third Armed Forces Cyber Competition, had participation from 243 service members—147 from the Brazilian Army, 48 from the Brazilian Navy, and 48 from the Air Force—as well as six civilian professionals. The competitors were divided into 84 teams. All members got a user name and password that let them interface with the championship platform from their own computer. When the event began simultaneously for all groups dispersed throughout Brazil, 18 “capture the flag” challenges were launched. In that player mode, each team has to defend a system and invade the adversary’s system. The one who finishes hacking first and gets the target data is the winner. According to ComDCiber, the rules of the competition are simple, “and they are focused exclusively on performing the assigned tasks, with any cyber activity that might compromise the running of the competition being disallowed and subjecting the team to disqualification.” That is controlled by ComDCiber itself. After six hours of continuous play, the winner of the Third Armed Forces Cyber Competition was team ZeroByte, from the Brazilian Army’s 41st Telematics Center (41º CT, per its Portuguese acronym), headquartered in Belém, in the state of Pará. “Something that made this competition quite interesting was the fact that some challenges depended on others to be solved,” the 41º CT’s team stated. Taking first place represented progress for ZeroByte, which had only come in 10th and 6th, respectively, in the two previous editions of Mandabyte.
As a three-sport star, Shayla Dvorak wasn’t exactly a couchpotato in high school. Playing volleyball, basketball and running track, Dvorakwas active throughout the year while attending Mishicot High School. Afterwinning her volleyball team’s Pride, Hustle, and Desire Award as a junior andbeing named MVP of the track team as a senior, Dvorak came to Madison lookingat a new sport to try.“I kind of started thinking about it right in the summerbefore I was a freshman and looked it up on the website,” Dvorak said. “And Isaw rowing, and I saw that they had walk-ons, and I was like, ‘Oh, maybe Ishould try out for that. There’s no way it can be that hard.’”Little did she know Wisconsin crew would be one of thetoughest undertakings of her life.“I signed up at SOAR and came down to the meeting and (coachBebe Bryans) was there and said, ‘This is going to be the hardest thing youwill ever do, I promise,’” Dvorak said.Despite Dvorak’s initial underestimation of the sport,Bryans noted something right away about the walk-on.“She was pretty fierce, right from the beginning,” Bryanssaid. “I think, her freshman year, she lived here (at the boathouse). She had agreat work ethic.” Sure enough, through her hard work, Dvorak has blossomedinto the captain of Wisconsin’s B boat. The role of captain is not somethingnew to her, however. With six younger siblings in her family, Dvorak has takento leadership roles throughout her life. In addition to being the oldest child,she has tutored other students in school since she was younger and also hascoached in summer sports camps.“Everyone has different wants and needs and interests, stufflike that, so that dynamic in coming to rowing as a team captain is really coolbecause it has really helped me problem solve and help people get betterbecause I can use my past experience,” Dvorak said.“She tends to be inclusive of people,” Bryans said. “Onething that she’s been able to help lead seniors with is that nurturing thewhole team instead of holding anyone down and just holding everyone up.”Although Dvorak is clearly a leader, she is verysoft-spoken, far from an in-your-face, out-loud captain.“She was pretty quiet,” Bryans said of Dvorak. “She’ssteady, incredibly steady. That’s an incredibly important quality.”“I think I’m pretty competitive,” Dvorak said. “I probablycome across as… not? Until you get to know me, I’ll get pretty comfortable, andthen I get competitive, especially this time of year. But yeah, I probably comeacross as not, at first.”Though relatively quiet, there is no question Dvorak has a positiveeffect on her team and definitely deserves her captain’s status on the B boat.“I think she has a pretty high standard of what she wantsthe team to accomplish,” Bryans said. “She’s willing to stand up to people touphold the standard that everyone decided they wanted, and that is whatleadership is.”Bryans even went as far as to say that one of the words shemost closely relates to Dvorak is “fierce.”Obviously, the results don’t lie. In competition over theweekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., the UW women’s openweight crew took second placein the Big Ten Championships, improving from their fifth place finish last yearat the same event. The boat Dvorak rowed in took first place in their finalsrace Saturday afternoon, beating the second place nationally ranked Ohio Stateboat by just under a second. Wisconsin is well on its way to finishing wellthis season, Dvorak’s last.“I have a lot of Wisconsin pride. I dreamt about being aBadger my whole life,” Dvorak said of her time as a Wisconsin rower. “Thehistory of Wisconsin rowing is one of the best parts. It’s really cool to justbe a part of that.”