Feds, firms complete cyberterror drill

Key infrastructure leaders have completed a trial run to measure reactions to a simulated cyberattack, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today.

One hundred fifteen public, private and international organizations participated in Cyber Storm, the first government-led exercise to examine existing response, coordination and recovery mechanisms to a cyberevent.

The simulated attack, which affected the nation's energy, information technology, telecommunications and transportation sectors, sought to assess the infrastructure's readiness.

"Cybersecurity is critical to protecting our nation's infrastructure because information systems connect so many aspects of our economy and society," said George W. Foresman, under secretary for preparedness at DHS. "Preparedness against a cyberattack requires partnership and coordination between all levels of government and the private sector. Cyber Storm provides an excellent opportunity to enhance our nation's cyber preparedness and better manage risk."

McAfee joined the Department of Defense, Microsoft, CA, VeriSign and Symantec, among others, as a participant.

"Defending the nation's critical infrastructure is a vital task," said Jimmy Kuo, a research fellow with McAfee AVERT Labs. "We are pleased that we were able to assist DHS in this endeavor. We will review the lessons learned through this exercise to better prepare in the event of a national cyber incident."

DHS said the exercise measured coordination through the National Cyber Response Coordination Group, identification of policy issues that affect response and recovery, identification of critical information sharing paths and mechanisms among the public and private sectors and improvement and promotion of the public-private partnership.

The drill was not conducted in response to any known cyberterrorism threat, DHS said.

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