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Cybercity Allows Government Hackers to Train For Attacks

By The Washington Post

November 29, 2012

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The U.S. government, the military, and corporations are increasingly turning to virtual network simulations known as cyberranges as large-scale testing and training become an ever more vital aspect of cybersecurity. Cyberranges use massive amounts of parallel computing power to simulate everything from corporate networks to entire swaths of cyberspace ranging from simulations of the digital activity of a whole town and beyond. The simulations can then be used to test and improve network security measures against the latest malicious cyberattacks.

Cyberranges also are increasingly being used by the military to train cyberwarriors. For example, CyberCity, a dedicated cyberrange designed for the Air Force, incorporates a physical scale-model of a virtual town. Featuring functional model trains and traffic lights, CyberCity will be used by the Air Force to run high-stakes offensive and defensive cyberwarfare scenarios ranging from hijacked Navy vessels to attempts to subvert healthcare systems to carry out assassinations.

Other Cyberrange projects include the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's $130 million National Cyber Range and the University of Southern California's government-funded Defense Technology Experiment Research project.

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