Homeland Security Readies International Cyber-Wargame - InformationWeek

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2/7/2006
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Homeland Security Readies International Cyber-Wargame

"Cyber Storm" will simulate a series of network attacks on critical infrastructure in the private sector and in international, federal, and state governments.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is attempting to create a perfect storm in cyberspace this week in what it's touting as the first international test of cyber preparedness.

Cyber Storm is simulating a series of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in the private sector and in international, federal and state governments in order to test response. The test is part of larger homeland defense plans and ordered by a presidential directive. It is designed to strengthen communications, coordination and partnerships. The threats are fictitious and take place in a contained, secure environment.

DHS, which had to postpone the exercise because of Hurricane Katrina, aims to plan and facilitate interagency coordination through the National Cyber Response Coordination Group.

The exercise is planned in a controlled, pre-scripted way that is expected to prevent disruption of real systems. It will include fabricated interrelated incidents that escalate and combine to pose a significant threat to energy and transportation infrastructures, while targeting federal, state and international government operations.

Participants will attempt to identify policy issues affecting response and recovery, map out critical information-sharing paths and mechanisms between the private and public sectors, test decision making, ensure that communication flows properly between key players and develop a National Response Plan.

They also hope to highlight specific tools for preparation, response and recovery, while raising awareness of impacts associated with a major cyber attack.

Officials plan to discuss results during a news conference Friday.

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