In places like Arlington, Va.; Washington, D.C.; across the U.S. and around the world, a global cybersecurity exercise is underway designed to test the limits not only of the "network of networks," but the ingenuity of the people charged with protecting it.
Welcome to Cyber Storm III.
This is the third time that the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with other federal agencies, is holding this global cybersecurity exercise. Previous Cyber Storm exercises were conducted in 2006, and again in 2008. For the first time, DHS will manage its response to Cyber Storm III from its new National Cybersecurity and Communications and Integration Center.
Normally, this facility, located in a nondescript office building in Arlington is classified and closed to the public. But the NCCIC recently opened its doors for an inside look to let DHS officials brief the media on Cyber Storm III, a worldwide cybersecurity response exercise that has been underway since late Monday.
Brett Lambo, the director of the Cybersecurity Exercise Program with DHS's National Cybersecurity Division, is the architect, or game master for this global cybersecurity exercise.
"The overarching philosophy," he told reporters in a recent briefing at the NCCIC, "is that we want to come up with something that's a core scenario, something that's foundational to the operation of the Internet."
Cyber Storm III includes many players in places across the U.S. and around the world:Seven federal departments: Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, Energy, Justice, Treasury and Transportation. Eleven states: California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, plus the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC). This compares with nine states that participated in Cyberstorm II. Twelve international partners: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (up from four countries that participated in Cyber Storm II). Read Full Story