Simulated cyber attacks being tested across Europe


4 Nov 2010

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The first ever pan-European simulated cyber security attack is being tested by experts.

Cyber security experts are conducting a simulated exercise that tests responses to a potentially crippling attack on "critical online services".

The simulation, ‘Cyber Europe 2010’, will be harmless but based on a scenario where internet connectivity between European countries would be gradually lost or 2significantly reduced" due to attack.

Such an attack, according to the EC, would mean that citizens, businesses and public institutions would have trouble accessing essential online services.

Network crash

The Commission said Member States would need to co-operate with each other to avoid a simulated total network crash.

The event is organised by EU Member States with support from the European Network Security Agency (ENISA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

More complex scenarios will follow the exercise and are planned to go from European to global level. The exercise is part of the EC’s Digital Agenda for Europe to enhance online trust and security, which it hopes will ensure the safety of personal data online for all EU citizens.

Preparedness

Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said: “This exercise to test Europe’s preparedness against cyber threats is an important first step towards working together to combat potential online threats to essential infrastructure and ensuring citizens and businesses feel safe and secure online.”

This cyber security exercise aims to enhance Member States’ understanding of how cyber incidents are handled and test communication links, responses and procedures in case of a real large-scale cyber incident.

Recently, the US conducted a similar simulation, Cyber Storm III, in order test the vulnerability of US vital services and gauge how susceptible they are for attack.