DHS launches massive cyber attack simulation

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The Department of Homeland Security will today kick off its third major exercise testing the nations resopnse to cyber attack.

Cyber Storm III will last three days and involve thousands of participants, simulating a large-scale attack on critical infrastructure. The aim is to find out just how prepared the country is, and strengthen capabilities for the future.

"Securing America's cyber infrastructure requires close coordination with our federal, state, international and private sector partners," said DHS secretary Janet Napolitano.

"Exercises like Cyber Storm III allow us build upon the significant progress we’ve made in responding to evolving cyber threats."

The plan will put into practice elements of the newly-developed National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP). Participants include national government, individual states, foreign countries and large private sector companies. There's a particular emphasis on information sharing between these participants.

As the name implies, it's the third exercise of its kind, and it's designed to build upon its predecessors. There's greater involvement from private companies this time, and more foreign governments are taking part.

Cyber Storm III also represents the first major exercise testing the new National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), established last October.

Naturally enough, the DHS doesn't want to give the game away by releasing too much information about the details of the exercise. it iwll, though, involve the simulation of large-scale attacks on government systems, critical infrastructure, public sector bodies and foreign organizations.