Operation: First Wave 2017

18-22 September 2017


This was the department’s inaugural war games event. Operation First Wave 2017 was a ‘capture the flag’ training activity where teams were scored on technical ability to attack or defend the infrastructure as well as their soft skills such as communication and team work.

A total of 47 players from 10 Australian Government agencies came together in Canberra for a week of attack and defence games, training activities and social events.

Setting the scene

For a look back on last years events watch our video or go to the photo gallery.

Thunderbolt Harbour had just bought a shiny new rail system and it was a very proud of its new ‘toy’—promoting the cutting edge technology and automation installed within the town and rail system.

However, the system controller of Thunderbolt Harbour was concerned about the town’s infrastructure and having to maintain a networked presence may have posed a security risk.

Thunderbolt Harbour’s council did not see the value in testing the security risks, so the controller obfuscated parts of the system: Security through Obscurity.

The aim of the game

Thunderbolt Harbour was under attack. It was only a matter of time.

The aim was to break into the networks controlling Thunderbolt Harbour, find the industrial control systems and take control. If the shiny new trains crashed, the attackers won.

The ‘flags’ throughout the game scored points towards the total score—these may or may not have given information on how to best move forward towards the target.

The networks replicated common level infrastructure in today’s world, with the normal expected levels of protection built in.

Operation: First Wave 2017 montage