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San Antonio plant Cyberterror-Übung "Dark Screen"

Cyberterror test checks connections

By Dan Caterinicchia 
July 15, 2002

For the first time ever, federal, state and local government officials 
are partnering with representatives from the private sector and the 
utilities community in a exercise designed to identify the links 
between them in responding to and defending against cyberterror.

Operation Dark Screen, the brainchild of Rep. Ciro Rodriguez 
(D-Texas), is a three-phase exercise that will help all the players 
involved better understand their roles in preparing for, recovering 
from, and protecting the nation's critical infrastructure in case of a 

"A lot of people think about chemical, biological and nuclear attacks, 
but very few people think about the cyber," Rodriguez said. "Anyone 
that is going to hit us, it's going to be a combination of those."

The program's first phase will be a tabletop exercise in September, 
where a yet-to-be-determined cyberattack will be played out and all 
participants will respond, said Gregory White, technical director for 
the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the 
University of Texas at San Antonio, which is leading the planning and 
execution of Operation Dark Screen. 

The Air Force Air Intelligence Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, 
has assumed a leadership role in bringing together the various 
stakeholders, which include representatives from San Antonio, Bexar 
County, the Army, the Air Force, the state attorney general's office, 
the FBI, the private sector and many others, Rodriguez said. 

The second phase of Dark Screen will focus on implementing the 
"lessons learned" from the tabletop exercise, and the third phase, 
which will take place in May 2003, will be a live exercise and include 
actual attempts to penetrate networks, White said. 

"We can do it on paper, but by bringing everybody together at one 
time, we can see who is prepared to do that," White said, adding that 
so far participants have paid their own way through the planning 
stages, but attempts to secure federal and private funding are 

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