DHS Completes Cyber-Security Tests

The Department of Homeland Security announced it's completed the 'CyberStorm' simulated computer attacks, but has yet to fully evaluate how effectively the various participating groups communicated, cooperated, and responded.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

February 10, 2006

1 Min Read

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security still has to evaluate how well it fared through a series of simulated cyber attacks this week, but government and private companies avoided real-world damage and complications during their preparedness exercise.

More than 100 public, private and international groups participated in mock attacks replicating the invasion of a utility company's computer system and the disruption of power grids. The exercise, called Cyber Storm, was designed to test the abilities of private companies and government agencies to deal with a major cyber security incident.

DHS announced the completion of the exercise on Friday but has yet to fully evaluate how effectively the groups communicated, cooperated and responded.

John Sabo, director of security and privacy initiatives for CA, said he believes the initiative benefits his company and the public.

"We're forming industry sector-to-sector relationships and also bridging IT attacks and physical attacks," he said during an interview Friday.

Sabo, also the president of the International Security, Trust and Privacy Alliance and Vice President of the Information Technology-Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said that the groups involved will continue examining ways to improve operations, communications and "situational awareness capabilities," through training exercises.

Participants will evaluate the exercise, gauge interagency coordination and try to identify how current policies would affect response and recovery in the event of a real attack. The lessons learned this week are expected to be incorporated into a National Response Plan, which could be used if real attacks occur.

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