By Alice Lipowicz
The Homeland Security Department will test how well it works with
other federal agencies and private IT companies to protect
cybersecurity in a national exercise from Feb. 6-10.
The Information Technology Information-Sharing and Analysis Center
will take part in the exercise, known as "Cyber Storm," with DHS to
test its draft concept of operations for responding to cybersecurity
"This will be the first-ever cyber-focused exercise for DHS," the IT
center stated on its Web site.
Participating in Cyber Storm are Cisco Systems Inc., Citadel Security
Software Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Computer
Sciences Corp., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Symantec Corp., and
VeriSign Inc., the center announced on its Web site. Cyber Storm also
will involve government agencies.
According to Donald Purdy, acting director of DHS' National Cyber
Security Division, the division established the Government Forum of
Incident Response and Security Teams (GFirst) to facilitate
interagency information sharing and cooperation for readiness and
response. The teams, comprising government computer experts, are
responsible for IT security at government agencies.
In addition to the GFirst teams, the agency has worked with the
Defense and Justice departments to form the National Cyber Response
Coordination Group to provide an organized federal response to
cybersecurity breaches. This group, which includes 13 other federal
agencies including intelligence agencies, is the principal federal
interagency mechanism for responding to cyberincidents of national
The response coordination group has developed a concept of operations
for national cyberincident response that will be examined in Cyber
Storm, Purdy told Congress in October 2005.
Cyber Storm initially was to be held in November 2005, but it was
postponed because of the department's involvement in Hurricane Katrina
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