This week's war-game simulation comes amid a heated debate over the role that the Department of Homeland Security should play in safeguarding the nation's digital infrastructure. As politicians debate, is the United States ready for an advanced cyber attack?
The Department of Homeland Security this week is convening officials from across the federal government, private industry and foreign nations for its Cyber Storm exercise, a three-day simulation that aims to test the nation's ability to respond to a major attack on U.S. digital infrastructure.
The war-game exercise will model real attacks that have played out in recent years, taking note of the increasing sophistication of today's cyber combatants.
"The scenario will incorporate known, credible technical capabilities of adversaries and the exploitation of real cyber infrastructure vulnerabilities, resulting in a range of potential consequences -- including loss of life and the crippling of critical government and private sector functions," DHS officials said in a document (available here in PDF format) outlining the exercise.
This week's exercise is the third cyberattack simulation DHS has conducted. By statute, the agency is directed to stage Cyber Storm every two years, and officials have noted that participation has broadened considerably since the inaugural exercise in 2006.
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