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CIA's 'Silent Horizon' Internet War Games

The CIA has just finished conducting a series of cyberwargames. The intent was to test the ability of government and industry to respond to Internet disruptions, which have grown more damaging over the years.

The simulated attacks are set five years into the future; a fictional alliance of anti-American organizations have gathered to "test America's resolve" in cyberspace. The stated premise of the exercises was that cyberspace would see the same level of devastation as the 9/11 hijackings.

An earlier cyberterrorism exercise named 'Livewire' concluded that there were serious questions about the government's response and role during a cyberattack. It also questioned whether or not the government could even detect such an attack without help from the private sector.

As far as I know, the earliest science fictional mention of an attack on a nationwide data network like the Internet is mentioned in John Brunner's seminal book Shockwave Rider. In it, he refers to a dormant computer tapeworm that is poised to take down the network in the event of a serious attack:

...the worm that prevents the Fedcomps from monitoring calls to Hearing Aid, and the similar but larger one that was released at Weychopee—Electric Skillet—to shut down the net in the event of enemy occupation: those are designed to lay dormant until tampered with. (Read more about electric skillet)

Find out more at CIA's Internet War Exercise.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/27/2005)

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