EU and U.S. in first joint cyber security stress-test exercise

Summary:The EU and U.S. will today stage a joint cyber security stress-test, to strengthen international critical infrastructure.

The first joint cyber security stress-test exercise between the European Union and the United States is going ahead today in Brussels, Belgium.

The day-long exercise, dubbed 'Cyber Atlantic 2011', will simulate a series of cyber-crisis scenarios to explore how the two continents would not only engage with one another, but also co-operate, in the event of a cyber-attack on critical international infrastructure.

Between the two allies, the EU's Network and Information Security Agency will work hand-in-hand with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to test two particularly taxing issues to the IT profession.

The two scenarios will explore an attack based on advanced persistent threats, often referred to as foreign nation states with the ability to attack critical 'real-world' infrastructures, and the other will involve a staged attack on supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) in power-generation infrastructures.

More than twenty EU member states are involved in today's exercises, with sixteen 'actively playing', as well as the European Commission, the EU's upper house, providing high-level direction.

In London this week, world-leading experts, delegates and politicians gathered to discuss how to tackle the ongoing issue of cyber-crime and nation state cyber-security. The event came a day after the UK's electronics intelligence agency warned that cyber-attacks against the UK were at "disturbing levels".

Meanwhile, the U.S. has accused both China and Russia of using cyber espionage to steal its trade and technology secrets, in a bid to strengthen its own economic situations, stated in an intelligence report put before Congress.

State intelligence agencies, academic institutions and private companies 'all target' the United States, but the report only outwardly named China and Russia.

"Our research and development is under attack", a senior U.S. intelligence official said.

Related:

Topics: Security, Government, Government : UK

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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