CIA war game simulates major Internet attack

Posted by: Digital Geek

CIA war game simulates major Internet attack - 05/28/05 01:06 AM

The CIA is conducting a cyber-war game this week geared to simulate a major Internet attack by enemy computer hackers, an intelligence official said Thursday.

Dubbed "Silent Horizon," the three-day unclassified exercise is based on a scenario set five years in the future and involves participants from government and the private sector.

"These are people who could likely be affected or enlisted in a real situation," the intelligence official said.

"Its goal is to help the United States recognize indicators of a large-scale cyber attack."

The exercise was being conducted in Charlottesville, Virginia, by members of the CIA's Information Operations Center, which evaluates foreign threats to U.S. computer systems, particularly those that support critical infrastructures. It was expected to conclude Thursday.

The federal government has conducted various attack simulations since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, which killed about 3,000 people and prompted the U.S. war on terrorism.

Top U.S. intelligence officials say it may be only a matter of time before the United States is attacked again by terrorist groups including
Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.

Cyber attacks, which have drawn less publicity than possible chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks, are viewed by U.S. officials as a potential al Qaeda weapon against the U.S. economy.

Online crime has exploded in recent years, a result of organized crime groups based in Eastern Europe. But investigators so far have uncovered few links to Islamic extremists.

"We have not uncovered any significant links to terrorism," said Brian Nagel, assistant director of investigations for the U.S. Secret Service, in an interview with Reuters last week.

But there are some signs that Islamic extremists are getting into the act.

An Indonesian man named Imam Samudra, who was found guilty of the 2002 Bali nightclub blasts, included a chapter entitled "Hacking: Why Not?" in his autobiography.

While hackers have uncovered holes in power plants and other infrastructure, experts say terrorists are likely to favor conventional attacks as long as they are possible.

"When it's really too hard to bring kinetic weapons in ... the bad guys will turn to cyber attacks," said Allan Paller, chief executive of the SANS Institute, a nonprofit security-training organization.

SOURCE
Posted by: Artic Warrior

Re: CIA war game simulates major Internet attack - 06/17/05 10:05 PM

Very interesting and it makes sence. So many things rely on computers that I think governments will (if havent already) start training Hackers into an agency that would target systems that control infrastructure in countries they consider threats.

Can you imagine power grids failing, news and radio interuptions, constant attacks on traffic lights in major cities etc.
Scary!!
Posted by: Ntd

Re: CIA war game simulates major Internet attack - 06/18/05 03:12 AM

"Can you imagine power grids failing, news and radio interuptions, constant attacks on traffic lights in major cities etc." Hey as long as the steam network is up, i'll be happy .
Posted by: Digital Geek

Re: CIA war game simulates major Internet attack - 06/19/05 02:12 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Artic Warrior:
training Hackers into an agency that would target systems that control infrastructure in countries they consider threats.
A country that is considered a threat by the USA is either too underdeveloped to have any serious infrastructure to hack into (i.e. Afghanistan) or the bombing of that country by the US Air Force will destroy any control infrastructure that country might have (i.e. Iraq).

I also doubt islamic terrorists are going to try and hack into any network to bring down communication or any other stuff. It's much easier for them to just place a few bombs in the right places and bring it down the hard way.

I belive this whole cyberwar simulation is just a conspiracy to keep everyone scared.
Posted by: Artic Warrior

Re: CIA war game simulates major Internet attack - 06/19/05 05:19 AM

When you play as the world police, I can think of many countries United States would think of as a threat. The fact that some are "underdeveloped" is a bonus. Hacking would be a much cheaper choice and one easier to launch then to have an air craft carrier sitting of a coast in the baltic/south china sea.

As for the terrorists, maybe they are all brain dead humans that just want to blow things up. Or maybe they are thinking about new timed ways to bring down the western world when they realise (and I think the article suggested this) its easier to get an unknown hacker into a country then a nuclear weopon. Remember that not all terrorists follow Islam. However I think the vast majority do.
Posted by: ErrOr404

Re: CIA war game simulates major Internet attack - 06/19/05 08:23 PM

Interesting, you should have a go at copying this topic into the deabates & rants forum, I feel a conspiracy argument coming on.