01 Oct 2010

United States government conducts cyber war simulation

The United States Department of Homeland Security recently brought together officials from the federal government, private industry and foreign nations for its Cyber Storm exercise.

Cyber Storm was a three-day simulation that tested the country's ability to respond to a major attack on U.S. digital infrastructure. It was the third cyber war simulation the DOH has conducted since 2006. The department is mandated to hold at least one exercise every two years.

Along with federal officials, other participants of Cyber Storm III included 11 states and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, representatives from 12 foreign nations and 60 private businesses from the finance, communications and energy sectors.

Security experts advise all web users to protect themselves with updated antivirus software.

The simulation was held at a time of heated debate concerning the DOH's role in protecting against a cyber attack. Senator John McCain has argued the Department of Defense would be better suited to act. More than a dozen legislative proposals have surfaced over the course of the current session of Congress. Currently, a bill that merges several proposals is under review on the Senate floor.