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Technology / Cybersecurity

Dstl the UK Defence Tech Lab Have Created A Cyber-attack Card Game

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have created a new cyber card game which helps to highlight the open-source techniques a cyber-attacker uses to take control of industrial and commercial infrastructure.

The Dstl Cyber Red Team Game was developed in-house as a spin off of Dstl’s Cyber Resilience Advice to UK Critical National Infrastructure & Military Platforms.

The player takes the role of a cyber attacker in an cyber-attack scenario. By playing as the attacker the player learns the tactics a threat actor uses to infiltrate critical national infrastructure. By taking part in this type of exercise a person is meant to obtain a better understanding of what actions are required to setup a stronger cyber-attack resilience.


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For training purposes the game can be facilitated by an experienced trainer with knowledge of cyber fundamentals, but they do not need a military background. On average the game takes two hours to complete. For the more hardcore mode gamers out there you can play a campaign edition which can take significantly longer.

The lead scientist who developed the game at Dstl commented in a released statement that: “It is exciting to see the cyber card game being developed externally for the benefit of both security and commercial environments.”

A key benefit cited by Dstl is the fact that the game bypasses technical specifics, letting players focus on what is unfolding rather than how it happens. The game could be a tool in training commercial staff on the intricacies of cyber risk management, while still remaining fun and digestible.

Dstl Early Access IP

As Dstl commits to improving technology they have made certain IPs available for free.

The developers stated that: “The intellectual property (IP) being offered for licence is a pack of Crown Copyright materials Copyright, including a number of card decks, several scenario boards, rule documentation and guidelines for running a campaign.”


After extensive testing and positive stakeholder feedback it was shown that the card game showcased a quick initial learning curve, which in comparison to traditional cyber training techniques displayed a marked improvement. This was a key factor in the game winning this year’s Dstl ‘Innovator of the Year’ award.

See Also: 28 UK Amateurs Compete to Hack a Bank in Cyber Security Challenge

Gaming products producer and founder of Coruscant Productions Tomas Owen commented: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to license such unique intellectual property from Dstl. The cyber card game fundamentally alters the way cyber is thought about, taught and employed.

“We’re proud to be chosen as the first licensee, and look forward to working with cyber training providers across the world with the goal of ensuring all organisations are better able to understand and defend against cyber criminals and digital attacks.”

This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.

CBR Staff Writer

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