Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two Creepy Stories From National Terror Alert

Cyber Storm III Drill To Assess Nation’s Cyber Incident Response Capabilities

From National Terror Alert

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the beginning of Cyber Storm III—a three-day long, DHS-sponsored exercise that brings together a diverse cross-section of the nation’s cyber incident responders to assess U.S. cyber response capabilities.
“Securing America’s cyber infrastructure requires close coordination with our federal, state, international and private sector partners,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Exercises like Cyber Storm III allow us build upon the significant progress we’ve made in responding to evolving cyber threats.”
Cyber Storm III is an exercise scenario that simulates a large-scale cyber attack on critical infrastructure across the nation. The goal of the exercise is to examine and strengthen collective cyber preparedness and response capabilities, involving thousands of participants across government and industry.
As part of Cyber Storm III, DHS will exercise elements of the newly-developed National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP)—a blueprint for the Nation’s cybersecurity incident response.
Cyber Storm III participants include:
Administration-Wide—Seven Cabinet-level departments including Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation and Treasury, in addition to the White House and representatives from the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
Eleven States—California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, as well as the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC).
12 International Partners—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
60 Private Sector Companies—DHS worked with representatives from the Banking and Finance, Chemical, Communications, Dams, Defense Industrial Base, Information Technology, Nuclear, Transportation, and Water Sectors, as well as the corresponding Sector Coordinating Councils and ISACs, to identify private sector participants.
Cyber Storm III also represents the first major exercise testing the new National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)—which serves as the hub of national cybersecurity coordination and was established in October of 2009.

Missile Strikes in Pakistan Ramped Up To Thwart Suspected Terror Plot

From National Terror Alert.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in an effort to foil a suspected terrorist plot against European targets, the CIA has ramped up missile strikes against militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions. According to the article, the strikes, launched from unmanned drone aircraft, represent a rare use of the CIA’s drone campaign to preempt a possible terror attack on the West.
The terror plot, which officials have been tracking for weeks, is believed to target multiple countries, including the U.K., France, and Germany, these officials said.
The exact nature of the plot or plots couldn’t be learned immediately, and counter-terrorism officials in the U.S., Pakistan and Europe are continuing to investigate. There have, however, been multiple terror warnings in recent days in France, Germany and the U.K.

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