Cyber Storm III simulates large-scale attack

DHS hosts its third major cyberincident exercise, with the focus on increasingly sophisticated attacks

A new cyberattack exercise hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security this week reflects the increasingly sophisticated attacks U.S. agencies and businesses face, DHS officials said.

Cyber Storm III, the third large-scale cyberattack exercise hosted by DHS, will test the ability of government agencies and more than 60 private-sector organizations to work together during a massive incident, said Phil Reitinger, deputy undersecretary of the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate. Cyber Storm III kicked off Tuesday morning, and Reitinger said Wednesday that he was pleased with the response so far.

"One of the things that I think it's critical to recognize about cyberspace is it's beyond the capability of any one government agency to respond, or even one government or one private-sector entity," he said. "This really requires a joint response."

Cyber Storm III focuses on increasingly complicated attacks, DHS said. "Our adversaries ... have moved beyond more familiar Web page defacements and Denial of Service (DOS) attacks in favor of advanced, targeted attacks that use the Internet's fundamental elements against itself -- with the goal of compromising trusted transactions and relationships," the agency said in a fact sheet about the exercise.

Reitinger and other DHS officials didn't lay out the details of the exercise during a press briefing Wednesday, saying they didn't want news reports to influence the results of the program, which runs for about three days. Reitinger, a participant in the exercise, said even he doesn't know what will happen next.

"I see stuff as it comes up," he said.

The exercise includes a potential for more than 1,500 "injects," individual events that can be injected into the scenario, said Brett Lambo, director of the DHS's cyberexercise program.

The exercise doesn't attack an operating network, but simulates attacks, with participants getting a series of bulletins about new events. On Wednesday morning, about 100 participants from the U.S. government, state governments, foreign government and private companies were responding to new injects at an exercise control center at U.S. Secret Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Among the U.S. agencies participating in the exercise are the Departments of Justice, Energy, Defense, State and Transportation, as well as the White House and the U.S. National Security Agency, DHS officials said. DHS didn't release names of companies participating, but the sectors represented included banking, chemical, communications, nuclear energy and IT, the agency said.

Officials from 11 states, including California, New York and Pennsylvania, participated, as well as officials from 12 other countries, including Canada, France, Germany and the U.K.

The goals of Cyber Storm III included testing the National Cyber Incident Response Plan, released by DHS in late 2009, and checking how well cyberattack information is shared among the organizations involved, DHS said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentsecuritydata protectionU.S. Department of Homeland SecurityGovernment use of ITExploits / vulnerabilitiesU.S. Secret ServiceBrett LamboPhil Reitinger

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?