The results of a two-day cyberwar simulation involving 230 representatives from U.S. government defense and security agencies, private companies, and civil groups found that the United States is not prepared to defend itself against a major hostile attack against its computer networks. The war game simulated a surge in computer attacks during a time of economic vulnerability, and challenged participants to find a way to mitigate the attacks using real-life knowledge of tactics and procedures. The exercise took place almost a year after President Bush launched a cybersecurity initiative aimed at improving U.S. computer defenses. "
There isn't a response or a game plan," says Mark Gerencser from Booz Allen Hamilton, which ran the simulation. "There isn't really anybody in charge." U.S. Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.) says that a successful attack could cause the U.S.'s banking or national electrical systems to fail. Both the government and industry need to invest billions of dollars to improve security, says U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff told participants that cyberattacks will become a routine warfare tactic to damage command systems in preparation for a traditional attack, and that international law and military doctrines need to be updated to address cyberattacks.
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