Skip to content

Definitions

Blue Cell

The blue cell is the opposite side of red. Is it all the components defending a target network. The blue cell is typically comprised of blue team members, defenders, internal staff, and an organization’s management.

Blue Team

A security team that defends against threats.

Command and Control (C2)

Command and Control (C2) is the influence an attacker has over a compromised computer system that they control.

Engagement / Exercise Control Group (ECG)

The Engagement (or Exercise) Control Group is ultimately responsible for all activities conducted during the engagement. Most often, the Engagement Control Group is composed of one or two senior managers from the target environment (for example a Chief Information Officer or Chief Operating Officer), one member from the Information Technology department of the environment, a White Cell liaison, and a Red Team liaison. More may be added as required. All must be Trusted Agents.

Exfiltration

Exfiltration is the extraction of information from a target. This is typically through a covert channel.

IOC (Indicator of Compromise)

Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) are artifacts that identify or describe threat actions.

OPFOR

An Opposing Force, or enemy force, that is typically used by the military in war-gaming scenarios. Red Teams are commonly associated with or support an OPFOR in war-gaming scenarios.

Operational Impact

An operational impact is the effect of a goal-driven action within a target environment.

OPSEC

OPSEC or Operational Security is a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence, determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them, and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information. In terms of Red Teaming, it is understanding what actions Blue can observe and minimizes exposure.

Red Cell

The term red cell is borrowed from the military. It is commonly associated with a group that plays OPFOR (opposing force) during red vs. blue exercises. A red cell is the components that make up the offensive portion of a red team engagement. The red cell is typically comprised of red team leads and operators and is commonly referred to as Red Team instead of Red Cell.

Red Team

A Red Team is an independent group that challenges an organization to improve its effectiveness.

Red Team Lead

Serves as the operational and administrative lead for the Red Team. Conducts engagement, budget, and resource management for the Red Team, Provides oversight and guidance for engagements, capabilities, and technologies. Ensures adherence to all laws, regulations, policies, and Rules of Engagement.

Red Team Operator

Complies with all Red Team requirements under the direction of the Red Team Lead. Operational executor of the engagement. Applies Red Team TTPs to the engagement. Provides technical research and capability to the Red Team. Keeps detailed logs during each phase of the engagement. Provides log and information support for creation of the final report

ROE (Rules of Engagement)

The Rules of Engagement establish the responsibilities, relationships, and guidelines among the Red Team, the customer, the system owner, and any stakeholders required for engagement execution.

Threat

A threat is an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage. Threat Emulation Threat Emulation is the process of mimicking the TTPs of a specific threat.

Tradecraft

Tradecraft is the techniques and procedures of espionage. Tradecraft is typically associated with the intelligence community. TTPs and Tradecraft are used interchangeably in this course.

Trusted Agent (TA)

The Trusted Agent’s primary role is to limit irreversible damage and risk to life, limb, eyesight, and equipment; however, they are more often used to prevent the defenders from causing unexpected self-inflicted damage. A Trusted Agent (TA) has privileged and detailed knowledge of engagement activities, milestones, conditions, and the engagement status that would unduly bias or influence the actions of the environment staff and defenders. A Trusted Agent must protect all information from being provided to any party without the express approval of the Engagement Control Group.

TTPs

TTPs are Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (sometimes called Tools, Techniques, and Procedures).

White Cell

Serves as referee between Red Team activities and defender responses during an engagement. Controls the engagement environment/network. Monitors adherence to the ROE. Coordinates activities required to achieve engagement goals. Correlates Red Team activities with defensive actions. Ensures the engagement is conducted without bias to either side.