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US signs cyberdefense agreement with Australia

The two nations are developing a virtual cybertraining range.

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A US Army cadet during a cyberdefense exercise.

CNET

The United States and Australia have signed a joint agreement to collaborate on cyberdefense, US Cyber Command said Friday. The Cyber Training Capabilities Project Arrangement was signed Nov. 3 and will see the Australian Defence Force incorporate feedback into US Cyber Command's cybertraining system so both outfits can practice defending against cyberattacks.

The Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE) will help cybersecurity operations "sharpen readiness in cyber tactics, techniques and procedures" in both countries, US Cyber Command said in a post on the Defense Department's website.

"Australia and the US have a strong history of working together to develop our cyber capabilities and train our people to fight and win in cyberspace," the Australian Defence Force's head of information warfare, Maj. Gen. Marcus Thompson, said in the post. 

The arrangement marks the first cyber-only agreement between the US army and an ally, Elizabeth Wilson, deputy assistant secretary of the US Army for defense exports and cooperation, said in the post. 

"To counter known and potential adversarial threats, the army has recalibrated our strategic thinking; we've made smart decisions to refocus our efforts to invest in the new, emerging and smart technologies that will strengthen our ability to fight and win our nation's wars," Wilson said.