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[infowar.de] CIA's Internet War Exercise Wraps Up Today
...gerade erst bekommen, das war schon Ende Mai.
CIA's Internet War Exercise Wraps Up Today
CIA to Complete Three-Day War Exercise Today; Aim Is to Test Gov't
Response to Internet Attack
By TED BRIDIS
The Associated Press
May. 26, 2005 - The CIA is conducting a secretive war game, dubbed "Silent
Horizon," this week to practice defending against an electronic assault on
the same scale as the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks.
The three-day exercise, ending Thursday, was meant to test the ability of
government and industry to respond to escalating Internet disruptions over
many months, according to participants. They spoke on condition of anonymity
because the CIA asked them not to disclose details of the sensitive exercise
taking place in Charlottesville, Va., about two hours southwest of
The simulated attacks were carried out five years in the future by a
fictional alliance of anti-American organizations, including
anti-globalization hackers. The most serious damage was expected to be
inflicted in the war game's closing hours.
The national security simulation was significant because its premise a
devastating cyberattack that affects government and parts of the economy
with the same magnitude as the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings
contravenes assurances by U.S. counterterrorism experts that such
far-reaching effects from a cyberattack are highly unlikely. Previous
government simulations have modeled damage from cyberattacks more narrowly.
"You hear less and less about the digital Pearl Harbor," said Dennis
McGrath, who helped run three similar war games for the Institute for
Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College. "What people call
cyberterrorism, it's just not at the top of the list."
The CIA's little-known Information Operations Center, which evaluates
threats to U.S. computer systems from foreign governments, criminal
organizations and hackers, was running the war game. About 75 people, mostly
from the CIA, gathered in conference rooms and reacted to signs of mock
The government remains most concerned about terrorists using explosions,
radiation and biological threats. FBI Director Robert Mueller warned earlier
this year that terrorists increasingly are recruiting computer scientists
but said most hackers "do not have the resources or motivation to attack the
U.S. critical information infrastructures."
The government's most recent intelligence assessment of future threats
through the year 2020 said cyberattacks are expected, but terrorists "will
continue to primarily employ conventional weapons." Authorities have
expressed concerns about terrorists combining physical attacks, such as
bombings, with hacker attacks to disrupt communications or rescue efforts.
"One of the things the intelligence community was accused of was a lack of
imagination," said Dorothy Denning of the Naval Postgraduate School, an
expert on Internet threats who was invited by the CIA to participate but
declined. "You want to think about not just what you think may affect you
but about scenarios that might seem unlikely."
"Livewire," an earlier cyberterrorism exercise for the Homeland Security
Department and other federal agencies, concluded there were serious
questions about government's role during a cyberattack, depending on who was
identified as the culprit terrorists, a foreign government or bored
It also questioned whether the U.S. government would be able to detect the
early stages of such an attack without significant help from private
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