Cyber Operator Job Profile

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What is a Cyber Operator?

The Cyber Operator conducts collection, processing, and/or geolocation of systems to exploit, locate, and/or track targets of interest. Performs network navigation, tactical forensic analysis, and, when directed, executes on-net operations.

Cyber Operator must know:

  • computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies.
  • risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk).
  • laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy.
  • cybersecurity and privacy principles.
  • cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
  • specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses.
  • application vulnerabilities.
  • data backup and recovery.
  • low-level computer languages (e.g., assembly languages).
  • physical computer components and architectures, including the functions of various components and peripherals (e.g., CPUs, Network Interface Cards, data storage).
  • collection management processes, capabilities, and limitations.
  • system administration concepts for operating systems such as but not limited to Unix/Linux, IOS, Android, and Windows operating systems.
  • auditing and logging procedures (including server-based logging).
  • programming concepts (e.g., levels, structures, compiled vs. interpreted languages).
  • basic software applications (e.g., data storage and backup, database applications) and the types of vulnerabilities that have been found in those applications.
  • wireless applications vulnerabilities.
  • client organizations, including information needs, objectives, structure, capabilities, etc.
  • cryptologic capabilities, limitations, and contributions to cyber operations.
  • current software and methodologies for active defense and system hardening.
  • database theory.
  • deconfliction reporting to include external organization interaction.
  • encryption algorithms and tools for wireless local area networks (WLANs).
  • encryption algorithms and cyber capabilities/tools (e.g., SSL, PGP).
  • enterprise-wide information management.
  • evasion strategies and techniques.
  • forensic implications of operating system structure and operations.
  • mobile cellular communications architecture (e.g., LTE, CDMA, GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA).
  • host-based security products and how those products affect exploitation and reduce vulnerability.
  • implementing Unix and Windows systems that provide radius authentication and logging, DNS, mail, web service, FTP server, DHCP, firewall, and SNMP.
  • internal and external partner reporting.
  • methods and techniques used to detect various exploitation activities.
  • network administration.
  • network construction and topology.
  • malware.
  • physical and logical network devices and infrastructure to include hubs, switches, routers, firewalls, etc.
  • satellite-based communication systems.
  • security hardware and software options, including the network artifacts they induce and their effects on exploitation.
  • security implications of software configurations.
  • structure, approach, and strategy of exploitation tools (e.g., sniffers, keyloggers) and techniques (e.g., gaining backdoor access, collecting/exfiltrating data, conducting vulnerability analysis of other systems in the network).
  • the basic structure, architecture, and design of modern communication networks.
  • the common networking and routing protocols (e.g. TCP/IP), services (e.g., web, mail, DNS), and how they interact to provide network communications.
  • the fundamentals of digital forensics to extract actionable intelligence.
  • Unix/Linux and Windows operating systems structures and internals (e.g., process management, directory structure, installed applications).
  • virtual machine technologies.

Key skills of the Cyber Operator include:

  • analyzing terminal or environment collection data.
  • identifying the devices that work at each level of protocol models.
  • analyzing target communications internals and externals collected from wireless LANs.
  • assessing current tools to identify needed improvements.
  • auditing firewalls, perimeters, routers, and intrusion detection systems.
  • data mining techniques (e.g., searching file systems) and analysis.
  • determining installed patches on various operating systems and identifying patch signatures.
  • extracting information from packet captures.
  • interpreting vulnerability scanner results to identify vulnerabilities.
  • knowledge management, including technical documentation techniques (e.g., Wiki page).
  • processing collected data for follow-on analysis.
  • providing real-time, actionable geolocation information utilizing target infrastructures.
  • reading, interpreting, writing, modifying, and executing simple scripts (e.g., PERL, VBS) on Windows and Unix systems (e.g., those that perform tasks like parsing large data files, automating manual tasks, and fetching/processing remote data).
  • relevant programming languages (e.g., C++, Python, etc.).
  • remote command line and Graphic User Interface (GUI) tool usage.
  • reverse engineering (e.g., hex editing, binary packaging utilities, debugging, and strings analysis) to identify function and ownership of remote tools.
  • server administration.
  • survey, collection, and analysis of wireless LAN metadata.
  • technical writing.
  • testing and evaluating tools for implementation.
  • using tools, techniques, and procedures to remotely exploit and establish persistence on a target.
  • using various open source data collection tools (online trade, DNS, mail, etc.).
  • liverifying the integrity of all files. (e.g., checksums,
  • Exclusive OR, secure hashes, check constraints, etc.).
  • network target analysis, templating, and geolocation.
  • assess internal and external partner reporting.

Cyber Operator must be able to:

  • interpret and translate customer requirements into operational action.
  • monitor system operations and react to events in response to triggers and/or observation of trends or unusual activity.
  • perform network collection tactics, techniques, and procedures to include decryption capabilities/tools.
  • perform wireless collection procedures to include decryption capabilities/tool

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