WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Participants in the exercise trained to handle cyber operations and ensure all the players know each other and their capabilities, the report said.
“[T]he Cyber Guard exercise — held June 8-26 in Suffolk, Virginia — brought together players from the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation], the Federal Aviation Administration, private firms and law enforcement,” the News said.
US allies, including the United Kingdom, also participated in the exercise, the News said.
The report quoted Cyber Command Director of Exercises and Training, Rear Admiral Kevin Lunday, as saying the exercise scenario focused on a hypothetical major earthquake in Southern California.
The earthquake was followed “by a series of what seem to be coordinated cyberattacks by a range of different actors that disrupt electrical power, both along the West Coast and the East Coast,” Lunday noted.
Lunday explained that under the scenario, banks were affected, oil and gas pipelines and a major commercial port in the United Kingdom were disrupted, and Defense Department information networks were attacked.
The scenario included power outages, ATM failures and food shortages, the newspaper reported.
“[For] some of the teams, this is the first time they’ve ever done anything like this,” Lunday said. “We need to be able to do that all the time, day after, in order to be really ready for this, rather than just once or a few times a year.”
Cyber Command was planning future exercises in 2016 to enable teams “to connect in smaller, scaled-down scenarios, and do more of that persistent, continuous kind of training,” Lunday added.
The training environment had to involve the participation of private-sector entities, because private firms owned or operated much of the critical infrastructure in the United States and the international cyber world, Lunday concluded.