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War Game Reveals ­.s. Lacks Cyber-Crisis Skills

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The Bipartisan Policy Center recently staged the Cyber ShockWave, a simulation to demonstrate the plausibility of a cyberattack that could be as crippling as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes. "We were trying to tee up specific issues that would be digestible so they would become the building blocks of a broader, more comprehensive cyberstrategy," says former CIA director Michael Hayden.

The simulation, in which the cell phones and computers of tens of millions of Americans were turned into weapons to shut down the Internet, had 40 million people in the eastern United States without electrical power and more than 60 million cell phones out of service. Privacy was a key stumbling block in any strategy the participants tried to put forth. "Americans need to know that they should not expect to have their cell phone and other communications be private—not if the government is going to have to take aggressive action to tamp down the threat," says Jamie Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general.

Participants also wrangled over how far to go in regulating the private sector, which owns the vast majority of the "critical" infrastructure that is vulnerable to a cyberattack.

From The Washington Post
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