Cyber Storm II security exercise commences

Cyber Storm II commences this month involving and planned in close coordination with federal, state, local, and international governments, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In addition, private sector players from the Information Technology (IT), Transportation (Rail and Pipe), and Chemical sectors along with multiple Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) are scheduled to participate.Cyber Storm exercises are prepared by the United States’ Department of Homeland Security. It is a biennial National Cyber Exercise whose goal is to examine the processes, procedures, tools, and organisational response to a multi-sector coordinated attack through, and on, the global cyber infrastructure.The exercise has a number of objectives, these being:

  • examine the capabilities of participating organizations to prepare for, protect from, and respond to the potential effects of cyber attacks
  • exercise strategic decision making and interagency coordination of incident response(s) in accordance with national level policy and procedures
  • validate information sharing relationships and communications paths for the collection and dissemination of cyber incident situational awareness, response, and recovery information
  • examine means and processes through which to share sensitive information across boundaries and sectors, without compromising proprietary or national security interests.

One of the areas covered by Cyber Storm is the DNS. Security and the ability to be prepared for and protected from events such as a cyber attack is of paramount importance. The exercises are simulated and will not affect any live information networks.Cyber Storm divides participants into attackers and defenders over simulations that test national responsiveness to cyber attacks on IT systems and transportation, communications, and chemical infrastructure.More information on Cyber Storm II is available from www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/infosheet_CyberStormII.pdf while information on 2006’s Cyber Storm I is available from cryptome.org/cyberstorm.pdf. A news release from the Department of Homeland Security following Cyber Storm I is available from www.us-cert.gov/press_room/060210cyberstorm.html.

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